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The concept of interference alignment has been studied mainly from an information-theoretic and signal processing point of view, focusing on scenarios with a high degree of coordination among nodes often achieved by means of transmission scheduling. However, many real-world networks employ random access policies rather than deterministic scheduling, and it is therefore important to understand how the behavior of the interference alignment algorithms may change in this setting. The authors investigate this problem by means of two analytical models and they also provide hints on the properties that an effective protocol should have in order to fully exploit the potential of interference alignment in random access systems.
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