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In this study, the authors develop a novel cooperative transmission scheme - distributed opportunistic incremental decode and forward (DOIDF) that employs the incremental relaying (IR) strategy in opportunistic relaying (OR) protocols. By exploiting limited feedback from the destination, the proposed scheme starts the OR plan only when outage event happens in direct transmission (DT). The outage probability of DOIDF is derived in detail, and the results show that DOIDF can achieve the same space diversity order as multiple input single output (MISO) and single input multiple output (SIMO) systems, which is the upper limit of cooperative diversity. By analysing and comparing the approximate expression of outage probability of various protocols in high-signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) regime, the concept of system overhead factor (SOF), which reveals the effects of channel allocation in cooperative protocols on system performance, is proposed. Subsequent analysis and simulation results show that DOIDF outperforms corresponding OR schemes in outage probability, spectral efficiency and SNR gain over DT.