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In cooperative wireless communication, each user is assumed to transmit data as well as act as a cooperative agent for another user. The transmitters or receivers can collectively act as an antenna array and create a virtual or distributed Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) system. The basic ideas behind cooperative communication can be traced back to the work of Cover and El Gamal on the information theoretic properties of the relay channel. However, the earliest work specifically on user cooperation is due to Sedonaris et al. for cellular networks and Laneman et al. for ad hoc networks.
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