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IEEE 802.11 specifies four different Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols to coordinate multiple access in a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). Since several tens of stations can operate in a WLAN, the performance of MAC protocols is important for overall network efficiency. It has been observed that the IEEE 802.11 MAC protocols can be improved by knowing which station has a non-empty queue, i.e., queue status. The Point Coordination Function (PCF) can use this information to avoid polling a station that has no pending data. The HCF controlled channel access can adapt polling parameters based on queue status information, especially when scheduling a bursty and variable bit-rate traffic. Previously suggested methods are rather limited in terms of accuracy and efficiency.
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