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Cooperative communication techniques have earlier been applied to design of the IEEE 802.11 Medium Access Control (MAC) and shown to perform better. High rate stations can help relay packets from low-rate stations resulting in better throughput for the entire network. However, this also involves additional energy costs on the part of the relay which can result in reducing the network lifetime. The authors propose a cooperative MAC protocol NetCoop with the objective of maximizing the network lifetime and achieving high throughput. Based on this design, they also propose a flexible strategy which allows cooperation to be achieved using more than one relay. They show that this can achieve at least as good throughput as that of single relay cooperation while maintaining a high network lifetime.
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