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Cooperative communication techniques exploit diversity gain to improve the network throughput based on cooperation of multiple data transmissions. In Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN), the whole network throughput can be increased by letting high-rate stations relay traffic from low-rate stations. However, such kind of strategy may lead to a shorter network lifetime due to additional energy consumption. In this paper, the authors propose a MAC protocol, namely Lifetime Extended Cooperative MAC protocol (LECMAC), to maximize both the network lifetime and throughput. In their MAC protocol, a dynamic score is assigned to each station for evaluating its availability and performance when acting as a relay station.
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