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This paper studies the problem of adaptive resource allocation for downlink transmission at the base station (BS) of future multi-service IP-based networks. A delay margin based scheduling (DMS) approach is proposed to determine the queuing priority of an incoming packet by taking into consideration the distance between its currently experienced delay and its maximum allowed limit since such an instantaneous delay margin can timely and faithfully quantify its urgency. A number of queue architectures that aim to increase the bandwidth efficiency by integrating DMS with opportunistic user channel based scheduling (UCS) are also suggested. Wireless channel bandwidth efficiency and delay outage probability of the proposed approaches are extensively investigated by simulations.