On Relaying for Wireless Industrial Communications: Is Careful Placement of Relayers Strictly Necessary?
Relaying is a very promising technique to improve the reliability of data transmission in wireless (industrial) networks. With relaying, relay nodes support source nodes in carrying out retransmissions. A common assumption is that relayers should be placed at “good” positions (e.g. in the middle between source and destination) to achieve benefits. In this paper we tackle the question of whether it is strictly necessary to place relayers at “good” positions (which often requires extensive measurements). We present results indicating that the benefits of relaying are achievable even with randomly placed relayers, as long as enough of them are deployed. Specifically, we present results suggesting that with a sufficient (and still not too high) number of randomly deployed relayers, the probability that all packets, sent by source nodes to a central controller in a TDMA round, reach the controller is larger than for the case with source-only retransmissions. This finding holds true both in the absence and the presence of feedback.