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Communicating over a reliable radio channel is vital for an efficient resource usage in sensor networks: a bad radio channel can lead to poor application performance and higher energy consumption. Previous research has shown that the LQI mean value is a good estimator of the link quality. Nevertheless, due to its high variance, many packets are needed to obtain a reliable estimation. Based on experimental results, the authors show instead that the LQI variance is not a limitation. They show that the variance of the LQI can be used as a metric for a rapid channel quality assessment. Their initial results indicate that identifying good channels using the LQI variance requires an order of magnitude fewer packets than when using the mean LQI.
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