Cooperation and opportunism are two concepts that have recently revolutionized the way engineers think about wireless system design. Both concepts have their origin at information theoretic studies and target the maximization of the spectral and power efficiency at the system level as well as the increase of throughput and reliability at the link level. Successful incorporation of cooperation and opportunism in wireless system standards requires the solution of difficult theoretical and practical problems (e.g. under what condition it is preferable to cooperate, how the terminals should be synchronized, how do we recruit cooperating nodes, what is the complexity of the associated terminals). These concepts are actually long-term research topics of fundamental nature in the communications area. Due to the potential impact of the new concepts there has been a growing scientific and technological interest in cooperative and opportunistic communications, in Europe, North America and Asia. Initially, most of the related European projects had been strongly biased towards protocol, service, application and architectural aspects. In October, 2006, the EU-funded (FP6) FET-COOPCOM project was initiated and was mainly directed towards the physical and multiple-access layers. This fact made COOPCOM complementary to existing projects. Seven partners from Greece, Sweden, Belgium, France and Spain collaborated and guaranteed the successful completion of the project in September, 2009. The main objective of COOPCOM consortium was to make a measurable step to-wards the deep understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of cooperative and opportunistic communications, leading to their successful implementation. An additional objective was to explore new communication paradigms for portable devices by exploiting synergies between cooperative and opportunistic transmission modalities. During the three years period, the consortium partners worked together towards fulfillment of the above objectives. The whole area has been investigated in a unified manner and numerous high-quality research results have been derived and published (or accepted for publication) in related journals and conference proceedings. More specifically, within the framework of COOPCOM, the following main research topics have been addressed: 1. Performance limits, analysis and design of cooperative and opportunistic diversity schemes. 2. Efficient strategies and coding schemes for cooperative and opportunistic communications. 3. Test-bed implementations of cooperative and opportunistic schemes. The interested reader is referred to the COOPCOM web-site www.coopcom.eu.org where detailed information can be found about the project and the published results.
Belgium, Greece, Spain, France, Sweden