In wireless sensor networks, the traditional multi-relay incremental cooperative relaying (MIR) scheme could improve the system throughput over the fading channel enormously by exploiting multiple relay nodes to retransmit the copy of the source packet to the destination in turn, but increase the energy consumption and transmission delay. In order to mitigating the energy consumption and transmission delay, this paper proposes a new cooperative relaying scheme termed as incremental-selective relaying with best-relay selection (ISR), which selects the best relay node from the candidate relays to retransmit the packet to the destination only when the direct transmission between the source and the destination is not successful. Expressions of normalized throughput, normalized delay and energy efficiency for the ISR and MIR systems are derived respectively and their performances are compared through simulations. The results show that normalized throughput, normalized delay and energy efficiency for the ISR system all outperform the corresponding performances of the MIR system. Especially, there are different the optimal number of relays which can maximize the energy efficiency of system.
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