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Conventional medium access control protocols are designed to avoid simultaneous transmissions, based on a simple collision model in the underlying physical layer. Recently, strong physical layer capabilities, enabled by multiuser detection techniques, have been studied in connection with simple medium access control protocols, for example, slotted ALOHA. The authors think that neither of these extreme approaches is optimum, particularly in general scenarios where network nodes with different signal processing capabilities coexist. Instead of dealing with interferences in either of the two layers alone, both medium access control and physical layer functionalities should be designed to cooperate and complement each other.
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