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This paper proposes a novel Generalized Selection Combining (GSC)/Maximal Ratio Combining(MRC) switching technique based on error detection in cooperative communications with Amplify-and-Forward (AF) relays. In order to reduce the excessive burdern of MRC with all diversity paths at the destination node, the destination node decides if it performs GSC with order N(< K) or MRC with order K + 1 based on the error detection, where K is the number of relay nodes. The authors' analytical and simulation results show that the proposed GSC/MRC switching outperforms the conventional MRC in terms of outage probability in AF based cooperative communications since the proposed scheme effectively reduces the spectral efficiency loss with the help of error detection codes.
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