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Cooperative techniques have been shown to significantly improve the performance of wireless networks. Despite being a mature technology in single communication link scenarios, their implementation in wider, and practical, networks poses several challenges which have not been fully identified and understood so far. In this paper, the implementation of cooperative communications in non-centralized ad hoc networks with sensing-based channel access is extensively discussed. Both analysis and simulation are employed to provide a clear understanding of the mutual influence between the link layer contention mechanism and relaying protocols.
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