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In this paper we introduce a novel collision-free, schedule-based medium access control protocol for wireless networks. Our protocol, TRANSFORMA (TRAffic FORecasting Medium Access) uses traffic forecasting to significantly reduce packet delivery delays for delay-sensitive applications while maintaining delivery ratios higher than those of contention-based protocols. TRANSFORMA's novel approach to channel access uses the forecast data rate of each application flow to perform distributed probabilistic channel scheduling. We show through simulations that, thanks to its per-application traffic forecasting capabilities, TRANSFORMA yields lower average delays when compared against DYNAMMA, an existing schedule-based MAC, and against 802.11 under high load. TRANSFORMA caters to emerging high data rate, real-time services that will likely be prevalent particularly at the edges of the Internet of the future. Such services which are currently represented by applications such as Skype, Google Talk, and iChat, exhibit traffic characteristics that are fairly predictable and thus well served by TRANSFORMA's traffic forecasting abilities.
Date of Conference: 25-28 June 2012