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Collision detection and recovery
One method to handle collisions in a contention based system is to optimize collision detection and subsequent recovery.
- A collision can be detected by listening to the shared medium immediately after transmitting and identifying collision characteristics ; or by capturing data from the medium and performing error detection.
- For recovery, some systems simply cause senders to retransmit collided data (perhaps with backing-off algorithms which reduce the sender's retransmit rate when collisions keep occurring) or use Error Correction techniques such as FEC.
An alternative method to handle collisions in a contention based system is to attempt to avoid them. Some systems may utilize a strict scheduling guideline to identify who may use which resources when. Other systems may have the senders listen to the channel immediately prior to transmitting and determine suitable times to transmit.
Collisions are a condition that arises when two or more data stations attempt to transmit at the same time over a shared channel, or when two data stations attempt to transmit at the same time in a half duplex communication link. A contention based channel access (multiple access) protocol is a protocol where data packet collisions may occur. Examples of such protocols are:
In telecommunication, the term contention also has the following less usual meanings:
- Competition by users of a system for use of the same facility at the same time. This may also be known as oversubscription. The term contention ratio applies specifically to the number of people connected to an ISP who share a set amount of bandwidth. Typical values would be 50:1 for home users (that is to say that 50 people or lines will vie for the same bandwidth) and 20:1 for business users. It is for this reason that the shortfall between supplier-claimed access speeds and those experienced by the consumer once signed-up to a contract is particularly bad at just those times when most consumers actually want to use the service.
- A contention can occur in data communications when no station is designated a master station. In contention, each station must monitor the signals and wait for a quiescent condition before initiating a bid for master status.
- Paul Goransson; Raymond Greenlaw (2007). Secure Roaming in 802.11 Networks. Newnes. p. 74.