Cooperative retransmission can significantly improve link reliability over lossy and time-varying wireless links. However, comparing retransmission protocols is challenging, and generally requires simplistic assumptions specific to each protocol. In this paper, we develop a general model to evaluate cooperative retransmission protocols with distributed, slot-based contention algorithms. Specifically, we propose to calculate the relay time-out probabilities at a MAC time-slot scale, formulate retransmission outcomes as functions of the time-out probabilities, and derive the probability of a retransmission process for every data frame. We also propose a Markov extension of our model to characterise the dependency between retransmissions of multiple frames. This enables our model to analyse continuous retransmissions of successive frames. Validated by QualNet simulations, our model can analytically predict the probabilities of cooperative retransmissions with an accuracy of +1%. As a result, direct comparisons between cooperative retransmission protocols become tangible, without implementing the full protocol in a state-based simulator.
B. Hagelstein, M. Abolhasan, D. Franklin, F. Safaei & W. Ni, "Analytic performance model for state-based MAC layer cooperative retransmission protocols," IEEE Tranactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 15, (1) pp. 32-44, 2016.