Compressing MAC Headers on Shared Wireless Media

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Executive Summary

This paper presents a header compression algorithm that unlike previous protocols is capable of compressing MAC headers in a multiple-access (shared) channel. Previous schemes could not compress MAC headers because the address fields are needed to identify the in-tended destination as well as the intended context space under which compressed headers are to be interpreted. The authors approach this problem by sharing a single context space among participating nodes. The compression context for a new flow between two nodes is initialized and synchronized by transmitting an uncompressed frame with a context label that is randomly selected by the sender.

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