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To understand the fundamental performance limits and the quality of service offered by the IEEE 802.15.4 standard for control applications, the packet delay distribution plays a major role. Due to the random backoff mechanism employed by the IEEE 802.15.4 medium access protocol (MAC), it is difficult to derive such a distribution. In this paper, the probability distribution of the MAC layer service time and delay for successfully received packets are characterized. The analysis is based on an extended Markov chain and a moment generating function method.
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