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In order to improve the network performance of Mobile Ad hoc NETworks (MANETs), an Energy-balanced Cooperative Media Access Control (EC-MAC) protocol in MANETs was proposed in this paper. It adopted the best partnership selection algorithm to select the cooperative node with better channel condition, higher transmission rate and more balanced energy consumption. Simulation results showed that EC-MAC outperforms Cooperative MAC (CoopMAC) and IEEE 802.11 Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) in terms of the packet delivery ratio, network throughput and network lifetime under two distinct channel noise levels, especially under the bad channel condition.
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