In this paper, we derive the information theoretic capacity of a special class of mesh
networks. A mesh network is a heterogeneous wireless network in which the transmission
among power limited nodes is assisted by powerful relays, which use the same wireless
medium. We investigate the mesh network when there is one source, one destination, and
multiple relays, which we call the single source multiple relay single destination (SSMRSD)
mesh network. We derive the asymptotic capacity of the SSMRSD mesh network when the
relay powers grow to infinity. Our approach is as follows. We first look at an upper bound
on the information theoretic capacity of these networks in a Gaussian setting. We then show
that this bound is achievable asymptotically using the compress-and-forward strategy for
the multiple relay channel. We also perform numerical computations for the case when the
relays have finite powers.We observe that even when the relay power is only a few times
larger than the source power, the compress-and-forward rate gets close to the capacity.
The results indicate the value of cooperation in wireless mesh networks. The capacity
characterization quantifies how the relays can cooperate, using the compress-and-forward
strategy, to either conserve node energy or to increase transmission rate.