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The authors address the problem of construction of space-time codes for cooperative communications in block fading channels. More precisely, they consider a pragmatic approach based on the concatenation of convolutional codes and BPSK/QPSK modulation to obtain cooperative codes for relay networks, for which they derive the pairwise error probability, an asymptotic bound for frame error probability, and a design criterion to optimize both diversity and coding gain. Based on this framework, they set up a code search procedure to obtain a set of good Pragmatic Space-Time Codes (P-STCs) with overlay construction, suitable for cooperative communication with a variable number of relays in quasistatic channel, which outperform in terms of coding gain other Space-Time Codes (STCs) proposed in the literature.
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