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The authors compare the performance of different backoff functions for the multiple access protocol in an IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN (WLAN). They provide a unified analytical model with explicit expressions for the mean and standard deviation of the access delay for generalized exponential, polynomial and linear backoff functions. Using their model, they show that linear and polynomial backoffs with appropriate parameter settings can improve upon binary exponential backoff specified in the 802.11 WLAN standards, in terms of throughput, access delay statistics and packet drop rate.
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