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In this paper, the authors show how a cooperative Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol can help extend the lifetime of Machine-To-Machine (M2M) networks. A comparison between non-cooperative Automatic Repeat reQuest (ARQ) schemes (retransmissions performed only from the source) and a cooperative retransmission scheme (all the stations in the network are spontaneous helpers and assist the destination during the communication) in energy-constrained networks is also presented in this paper. The results shown in this paper are discussed in terms of the tradeoff between the network lifetime and the amount of data delivered, leading to the conditions where it is possible to optimize the lifetime of this kind of networks.
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