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We consider a unified framework to develop various graph-based detection algorithms for layered space-time architectures. We start with a factor graph representation for the communication channel, apply a belief propagation (BP) based algorithm for channel detection, and show that the detector achieves a near optimal performance even when number of receive antennas is smaller than number of transmit antennas. Based on this baseline algorithm, we further develop three different extensions of the BP detector that provide a good complexity/performance trade-off, which are especially useful for systems with a large number of antennas or when we encounter a frequency-selective fading channel with a long ISI span. Moreover, all the proposed detectors are soft-input soft-output in nature and they can be directly applied for use in turbo processing without any additional modifications. We study the performance of the new detectors via both simulations and convergence analysis using the measure of average mutual information.