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Medium access control is an exceedingly important aspect of the operation of any network. This is particularly true in wireless settings where the broadcast nature of the medium accentuates the need for effective medium access algorithms which provide good throughput and fairness characteristics. By far the most popular MAC techniques for wireless networks are those based on Carrier Sense Multiple Access (CSMA) due to their simplicity and amenability to distributed implementation. The IEEE 802.11 MAC is an example of a widely used MAC protocol that uses CSMA. However, CSMA protocols are often inadequate when fairness is of importance.
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