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A key technology in cooperative communications is distributed space-time coding (DSTC) which achieves spatial diversity gain from multiple relays. A novel DSTC, called randomized distributed space-time coding (R-DSTC), shows considerable advantages over a regular DSTC in terms of system complexity. In this paper, we exploit the benefits of R-DSTC physical (PHY) layer and develop a distributed and opportunistic medium access control (MAC) layer protocol for R-DSTC deployment in an IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN). Unlike other cooperative MAC designs, in our proposed PHY-MAC cross-layer framework, there is no need to decide which stations will serve as relays before each packet transmission. Instead, the MAC layer opportunistically recruits relay stations on the fly; any station that receives a packet from the source correctly forwards it to the destination. Through extensive simulations, we validate the efficiency of our MAC layer protocol and demonstrate that network capacity and delay performance is considerably improved with respect to legacy IEEE 802.11g network.
Date of Conference: Nov. 30 2009-Dec. 4 2009