Rate adaptation is a criteria that determines the performance of IEEE 802.11 wireless networks, or WiFi. Rate adaptation allows transmission to be done at different rates within the wireless network, depending upon the network conditions.
In wireless networks, the signal may be strong or weak. Through rate adaptation technique, the data transfer date can be changed depending upon the signal strength, i.e. when the signal is strong, high data rates are adopted, while low data rates are adopted during weak signals.
In traditional rate adaptation algorithms, the lowest permissible data rate was selected for data transfer. Though this ensured that network congestion didn’t occur, it reduced the overall throughput of the wireless network.
Some of the rate adaptation algorithms, that are researched upon are shown in the following diagram −