Skip to Main Content
Cooperative networking, by leveraging the broadcast nature of the wireless channel, significantly improves system performance and constitutes a promising technology for next-generation wireless networks. Although there is a large body of literature on cooperative communications, most of the work is limited to theoretical or simulation studies. To impact the next generation of wireless technologies and standards, it is essential to demonstrate that cooperative techniques indeed work in practice. This article describes two programmable cooperative communication testbeds built at Polytechnic Institute of NYU to achieve this goal. The testbeds are based on open-source platforms and enable implementation of cooperative networking protocols in both the physical and the medium access control layer. Extensive experiments carried out using the testbeds suggest not only that cooperative communication techniques can be integrated into current wireless technologies, but also that significant benefits of cooperation can be observed in terms of network throughput, delay, and video quality in real applications.