On the Optimal Number of Hops in Relay Networks
In this paper, the authors investigate the bandwidth (throughput) and energy efficiency considering both the physical layer and the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer in multi-hop relay wireless networks. For a given distance between the source and the destination, as the number of relays increases the overhead necessary to operate the MAC protocol increases. However, the energy needed for a given throughput decreases when the distance between relays decreases. Thus there is an optimal number of relays that optimizes both the throughput and the energy efficiency. They analyze how the number of relays used between the source and the destination affects the throughput and the energy consumption.