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Future wireless networks should facilitate efficient communication for rapidly growing bandwidth intensive applications. The existing layered protocol stack lacks efficiency in handling such applications. Cross-layer interactions can operate within the existing protocol stack and are a promising solution. In this article we present a survey of cross-layer interactions in wireless networks. We classify the cross-layer solutions based on the nature of the adaptation using a systematic evaluation of existing approaches. We identify critical criteria applicable to generic cross-layer framework design. Further, we analyze the existing generic cross-layer frameworks and qualitatively compare them based on the identified criteria. Context awareness is an essential and important element of future pervasive and wireless technologies. We propose to consider the context awareness as an essential and important aspect in cross-layer interactions and adaptations. We discuss context parameters with respect to adaptations that can be enabled at the layered protocol stack. Finally, we discuss open research challenges and gaps to be filled in cross-layer interactions in wireless networks.