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The capacity of wireless networks is greatly affected by the available information on network states, such as network topology, channel state, and traffic information. Previous research has estimated the capacity of wireless networks by assuming that each node in the network can obtain precise network information. However, in reality, precise network information may not be readily available, and it may require a large amount of bandwidth resource to maintain accurate network information, thus reducing the net data rate. In this paper, we study the tradeoff between network performance improvement and the communication overhead of transmitting network information. To do so, we first determine the resource required to transmit network information reliably. A channel model is presented for the transmission of network information packets, and the network protocols are modeled as coding schemes. An information-theoretic method is used to obtain the lower bound on the resource required to maintain accurate network information. We use the result to find the optimal allocation of resource between network information transmission and data transmission so as to maximize the net data rate. The model can also be used to derive the upper bound on wireless network performance for topology-transparent algorithms.