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In this paper the authors present an experimental study conducted in 802.11- based mesh networks of three existing rate adaptation algorithms. The aim of this study is twofold. On the one hand, the authors explore the ability of these algorithms to cope with moderate to high medium contention levels. On the other hand, they investigate their performance on medium-distance 802.11 links. The study indicates that, in congested networks, the network throughput can degrade up to ten times with respect to the best performance if the rate decision process is based solely on frame loss rates, without differentiating between the various causes of losses (i.e., channel errors or collisions).
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