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This paper presents the concept and preliminary performance evaluation of a stochastic network discovery approach named opportunistic scanning. Therein, a station only pauses its communication for an extremely short time interval to scan for other technologies/systems. The selected scanning duration is short enough not to be noticeable by higher layer applications. The authors place this concept into the 802.11 mesh network context and evaluate 802.11 power saving as one possible signaling protocol used to pause the communication between the scanning station and its interlocutor. They herein derive the theoretical performance limits of opportunistic scanning in combination with 802.11 power save and present first results classifying the time required to find a neighboring technology/system at a given probability.
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