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International Journal of Antennas and Propagation
Volume 2013, Article ID 745018, 21 pages
Review Article

A Survey on Beamforming Techniques for Wireless MIMO Relay Networks

Department of Information and Communication Systems Engineering, University of the Aegean, Samos, 83200 Karlovassi, Greece

Received 24 July 2013; Accepted 3 October 2013

Academic Editor: Laurent Clavier

Copyright © 2013 Demosthenes Vouyioukas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


One of the major challenges the mobile broadband community faces is the exponential increase in mobile data traffic, even more so, for cell-edge users. Thus, in a multitier network, the demand for high-speed and interference-free transmission and reception is inevitable. Beamforming (BF) is an advanced technology that offers a significantly improved solution to reduce the interference levels and improve the system capacity. Accordingly, the establishment of relays in mobile data networks has emerged spectral efficiency enhancements and cell capacity gains from an overall system perspective. This paper provides a comprehensive survey focused on the performance of adopted beamforming technique on MIMO relay networks that is expected to overcome crucial obstacles in terms of capacity and interference. The main objective is to point out the state-of-the-art research activity on BF techniques in MIMO relay networks, under various network performance challenges. Thereby, it focuses on recently developed procedures for interference modeling and mitigation, BF channel modeling, channel estimation and feedback, complexity and power consumption, adaptive BF for multiuser relaying, degrees of freedom, diversity issues, and spectral efficiency, in cooperative and opportunistic systems. Different network topologies have been considered and categorized, pertaining the challenges of BF implementation in MIMO relay networks.