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In this paper, the authors contribute to the theoretical understanding, the design, and the performance evaluation of multi-source multi-relay network-coded cooperative diversity protocols. These protocols are useful to counteract the spectral inefficiency of repetition-based cooperation. They provide a general analytical framework for analysis and design of wireless networks using the Demodulate-and-Forward (DemF) protocol with binary Network Coding (NC) at the relays and Cooperative Maximal Ratio Combining (C-MRC) at the destination. Their system model encompasses an arbitrary number of relays which offer two cooperation levels: full-cooperative relays, which postpone the transmission of their own data frames to help the transmission of the sources via DemF relaying and binary NC and partial-cooperative relays, which exploit NC to transmit their own data frames along with the packets received from the sources.
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