Packet Length Adaptation in WLANs With Hidden Nodes and Time-Varying Channels

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In a Wireless Local Area Network (LAN), packets can be lost due to a multitude of reasons. It is possible to reduce the probability of occurrence of some of these loss mechanisms by reducing packet length at the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer. However, using shorter packets decreases efficiency with respect to overhead, introducing a tradeoff. In current packet length adaptation literature, simplified or incomplete packet loss models are used, neglecting channel fading or collisions due to hidden nodes. In this paper, the authors outline a more complete packet loss model and propose a local packet length adaptation algorithm whereby each node dynamically adjusts its packet length based on estimates of the probabilities of each significant type of packet loss.