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In this paper, we develop a cross-layer analytical framework for studying the performance of reliable relaying schemes in multihop cooperative diversity systems. A generalized signaling model over independent nonidentical Nakagami-m fading channels is assumed, and mathematical expressions for end-to-end throughput rate, spectral efficiency, and latency distribution are derived. The proposed framework can capture the effect of correlated packet errors caused by cooperative retransmission attempts and, thus, adequately evaluate the network performance. Using the framework, the performance of automatic-repeat-request-based relaying schemes is demonstrated over a range of network conditions and system parameters. It is shown that tradeoffs are necessary among network robustness, throughput rate, spectral efficiency, and latency variability.