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IEEE 802.16 WiMAX is anticipated to operate across diverse and formidable circumstances under stringent performance requirements such as reduced delay, jitter, and dropped packets while providing high network utilization. As a potential remedy to alleviate these performance challenges, cross-layer design and optimization beyond layered architecture have been envisioned as in many similar communication systems. In this article some recent cross-layer design and solutions for improving the performance of IEEE 802.16 WiMAX are described. Moreover, a novel routing-scheduling scheme to illustrate the application and realization of the cross-layer paradigm in this domain is presented.