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The benefits of cooperation among devices of wireless networks are potentially so rewarding that distributed processing has become a major research topic in recent years. Distributed protocols are designed to achieve a global task over a network of devices connected via wireless links for different applications in wireless networks such as statistical inference and decision making, optimization in radio access and interference management, fault-tolerant networking. Channel variability and fading, dynamic routing and battery-aware policy, are only few of the specific challenges that the design of any distributed algorithm over wireless links need to account for. Of the many problems that are still open in this fascinating area of research, this special JCN issue sheds some light on the following important issues.