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IEEE 802.11 DCF is the dominant protocol used in existing WLANs. However, the efficiency of DCF progressively degrades with the increase of contending clients in the network as well as the wireless link rate. To address this issue, in this paper, the authors present a distributed random media access protocol, named CHAIN, which significantly improves uplink performance of WLANs. CHAIN mainly uses overhearing to coordinate clients in a network, and thus introduces little control overhead. The key in CHAIN is a novel piggyback transmission opportunity.
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