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A wireless network consists of a collection of nodes, each capable of transmitting to or receiving from other nodes. When a node transmits to another node, it creates interference for other nodes in its vicinity. When several nodes transmit simultaneously, a receiver can successfully receive the data sent by the desired transmitter only if the interference from the other nodes is sufficiently small. An important characteristic of wireless networks is that the topology of the nodes may not be known. For example, it may be a sensor network formed by a random configuration of nodes with wireless communication capability. The wireless nodes could also be mobile, in which case the topology could be continuously changing.
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