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PHYsical (PHY) layer cooperation in a wireless network allows neighboring nodes to share their communication resources in order to create a virtual antenna array by means of distributed transmission and signal processing. A novel Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol, called CoopMAC has been recently proposed to integrate cooperation at the PHY layer with the MAC sublayer, thereby achieving substantial throughput and delay performance improvements. CoopMAC capitalizes on the broadcast nature of the wireless channel and rate adaptation, recruiting a single relay on the fly to support the communication of a particular source-destination pair. In this paper, the authors propose a cross-layer rate-adaptive design that opportunistically combines the recruitment of multiple cooperative nodes and carrier sensing multiple access with collision avoidance.
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