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Distributed processing through ad hoc and sensor networks is having a major impact on scale and applications of computing. The creation of new cyber-physical services based on wireless sensor devices relies heavily on how well communication protocols can be adapted and optimized to meet quality constraints under limited energy resources. The IEEE 802.15.4 medium access control protocol for wireless sensor networks can support energy efficient, reliable, and timely packet transmission by a parallel and distributed tuning of the medium access control parameters. Such a tuning is difficult, because simple and accurate models of the influence of these parameters on the probability of successful packet transmission, packet delay, and energy consumption are not available.
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