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As one of the key technologies for future wireless communication systems, user cooperation has a great potential in improving the system performance. In this paper, the diversity benefit of user cooperation is evaluated using diversity-multiplexing tradeoff (DMT) as the performance metric. Ways of exploiting the diversity benefit are devised. We investigate two typical channel models, namely, the multiple-access channel (MAC) and the interference channel (IFC). For the MAC, all the terminals are equipped with multiple antennas and the K(K ≥ 2) sources cooperate in a full-duplex mode. We determine the optimal DMT of the channel and propose a compressed-and-forward (CF) based cooperation scheme to achieve the optimal DMT. For the IFC, we consider a two-user channel with single-antenna terminals and full-duplex source cooperation. A DMT upper bound and two DMT lower bounds are derived. The upper bound is derived based on a channel capacity upper bound, and the lower bounds are derived using decode-and-forward (DF) based cooperation schemes. In most channel scenarios, the bounds are found to be tight. This implies that under certain channel scenarios, the optimal DMT of the channel can be achieved by DF-based cooperation schemes.