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Analytical models of IEEE 802.11-based WLANs are invariably based on approximations, such as the well-known mean-field approximations proposed by Bianchi for saturated nodes. In this paper, the authors provide a new approach for modeling the situation when the nodes are not saturated. They study a State Dependent Attempt Rate (SDAR) approximation to model M queues (one queue per node) served by the CSMA/CA protocol as standardized in the IEEE 802.11 DCF. The approximation is that, when n of the M queues are non-empty, the attempt probability of the n non-empty nodes is given by the long-term attempt probability of n saturated nodes as provided by Bianchi's model.
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