Wireless Network Simplification: The Gaussian N-Relay Diamond Network
We consider the Gaussian N-relay diamond network, where a source wants to communicate to destination node through a layer of N-relay nodes. We investigate the following question: what fraction of the capacity can we maintain using only k out of the N available relays? We show that independent of the channel configurations and operating SNR, we can always find a subset of k relays, which alone provide a rate k/(k + 1)(C) over bar - G, where (C) over bar is the information theoretic cutset upper bound on the capacity of the whole network and G is independent of the channel coefficients and the SNR and depends only on N and k (logarithmic in N and linear in k). In particular, for k = 1, this means that half of the capacity of any N-relay diamond network can be approximately achieved by routing information over a single relay. We also show that this fraction is tight: there are configurations of the N-relay diamond network, where every subset of k relays alone can at most provide approximately a fraction k/(k + 1) of the total capacity. These high-capacity k-relay subnetworks can be also discovered efficiently. We propose an algorithm that computes a constant gap approximation to the capacity of the Gaussian N-relay diamond network in O(N log N) running time and discovers a high-capacity k-relay subnetwork in O(kN) running time. This result also provides a new approximation to the capacity of the Gaussian N-relay diamond network, which is hybrid in nature: it has both multiplicative and additive gaps. In the intermediate SNR regime, this hybrid approximation is tighter than existing purely additive or purely multiplicative approximations to the capacity of this network.