Wireless technologies are being used in various applications for their ease of deployment and inherent capabilities to support mobility. Most wireless standards supports multiple data rates that may vary between few Mbps to few Gbps. Reaching the maximum supported data rate is what most application seek for. Nevertheless, the choice of data rates is very closely related to the quality of communication links and their stability. IEEE 802.11 standard introduced multi-rate support, since then, a lot of research has been done on rate adaptation, dealing with the different parameters that lead to an estimation of the channel conditions and the metrics that affect the network performance. In this paper, we present some of the popular rate adaptation schemes and summarize their characteristics. We categorize them as well into different categories according to their design and functionalities in terms of the strategies that are used to estimate channel conditions and decision making. We implemented some algorithms from the different categories in the network simulator NS-3 in order to evaluate their performance under different scenarios in Ad hoc and infrastructure modes. We present the lessons learned as well as our insights for future research work that can enhance the current approaches in the literature.
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