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Current 802.11 networks do not typically achieve the maximum potential throughput despite link adaptation and cross-layer optimization techniques designed to alleviate many causes of packet loss. A primary contributing factor is the difficulty in distinguishing between various causes of packet loss, including collisions caused by high network use, co-channel interference from neighboring networks, and errors due to poor channel conditions. In previous work, the authors used NS-2 simulations to show that estimating various components of loss probability such as direct collisions, staggered collisions, and physical layer errors, can be used to improve the throughput of 802.11 networks via link adaptation, carrier sense threshold adaptation, and MAC layer packet length adaptation.
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