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Unlike their cellular counterparts, Wi-Fi networks do not have the luxury of a dedicated control plane that is decoupled from the data plane. Consequently, Wi-Fi struggles to provide many of the capabilities that are taken for granted in cellular networks, including efficient and fair resource allocation, QoS and handoffs. The reason for the lack of a control plane with designated spectrum is that it would impose significant overhead. This is at odds with Wi-Fi's goal of providing a simple, plug-and-play network. In this paper, the authors present Flashback, a novel technique that provides a decoupled low overhead control plane for wireless networks that retains the simplicity of Wi-Fi's distributed asynchronous operation.
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