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Increasingly wireless networks use multi-antenna nodes as in IEEE 802.11n and 802.16. The PHYsical layer (PHY) in such systems may use the antennas to provide multiple streams of data (spatial multiplexing) or to increase the robustness of fewer streams. These physical layers also provide support for sending packets at different rates by changing the modulation and coding of transmissions. Rate adaptation is the problem of choosing the best transmission mode for the current channel and in these systems requires choosing both the level of spatial multiplexing and the modulation and coding.
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