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In many low-power networks, the power cost for a node to remain ON to listen to transmissions from other nodes or to transmit to other nodes can constitute a significant part of the total power consumption by the radio. Thus, unlike the traditional relay channel model, under a low power constraint, the relay node cannot stay ON and listen to the entire duration of the transmission. The authors study the slope of the capacity-power function at zero power for relay channels where the power cost of remaining ON is explicitly taken into account. They show that in this low-power limit, information is conveyed primarily through the ON-OFF activity of the source.
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