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Although cooperative communication has been proposed at the physical layer to address multi-path fading effects, how physical layer gains with cooperative communication can translate to tangible performance benefits in end-to-end flows remains to be an open problem. This paper represents one step forward towards a deeper understanding of the interplay between end-to-end throughput and physical layer cooperative communication, in the general context of multi-hop multi-channel wireless networks. Based on a decode-and-forward physical layer design with rateless codes, the authors reformulate the problem of routing and channel assignment to account for physical layer cooperation. They design a distributed protocol to solve the new problem.
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