In this paper, we analyze the performance of cooperative diversity using adaptive Decode and Forward (DF) relaying over independent but non-necessarily identical flat composite fading channels which include multipath fading and shadowing simultaneously. We have considered the transmission of M-QAM modulated signals over Generalized-K channel model which is very versatile and accurately approximates many of the commonly used channel models as Nakagami-m, Log-Normal distributions and the mixture of the two distributions for the composite fading. Using an approximation of the Generalized-K pdf by a Gamma pdf, we derive analytical expressions for the outage probability and the Average Symbol Error Probability (ASEP) of the proposed scenario and analyze their dependence on the channel parameters. We assume in our context that the relay decides independently whether or not to forward the signal to the destination based on the received signal quality. Simulations are provided for 16-QAM modulation for both the outage and the ASEP. The obtained results are discussed and proved to be in good agreement with our theoretical analysis.
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