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In 802.11 WLANs, adapting the contention parameters to network conditions results in substantial performance improvements. Even though the ability to change these parameters has been available in standard devices for years, so far no adaptive mechanism using this functionality has been validated in a realistic deployment. In this paper, the authors report their experiences with implementing and evaluating two adaptive algorithms based on control theory, one centralized and one distributed, in a large-scale testbed consisting of 18 commercial off-the-shelf devices. They conduct extensive measurements, considering different network conditions in terms of number of active nodes, link qualities and traffic generated.
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