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We introduce a measurement-based optimization framework for topology control in dense 802.11 networks using sectorized antennas. We first formulate a topology control optimization problem, where nodes activate their sectorized antenna patterns to minimize network interference and maximize network capacity. In contrast to previous approaches, our formulation is based on a physical interference model that relies on received signal strength (RSS) measurements on multiple antenna patterns of each link. We then introduce a distributed measurement protocol to measure RSS of these antenna patterns and a greedy distributed topology control protocol that uses this information to achieve topologies of minimal interference. The protocols are experimentally evaluated on a dense 802.11 wireless testbed. Extensive measurements show that the protocols operate very close to optimal and yield significant increase in network throughput compared to omni-directional antennas. These results hold for various traffic scenarios in both wireless LAN and mesh network configurations.