The exchange of information among nodes in a communications network is based upon the transmission of discrete packets of data from a transmitter to a receiver over a carrier according to one or more of many well-known, new or still developing protocols. In this context, a protocol consists of a set of rules defining how the nodes interact with each other based on information sent over the communication links. Often, multiple nodes will transmit a packet at the same time and a collision occurs. During a collision, the packets are disrupted and become unintelligible to the other devices listening to the carrier activity. In addition to packet loss, network performance is greatly impacted. The delay introduced by the need to retransmit the packets cascades throughout the network to the other devices waiting to transmit over the carrier. Therefore, packet collision has a multiplicative effect that is detrimental to communications networks. As a result, multiple international protocols have been developed to address packet collision, including collision detection and avoidance. Within the context of wired Ethernet networks, the issue of packet collision has been largely addressed by network protocols that try to detect a packet collision and then wait until the carrier is clear to retransmit. Emphasis is placed in collision detection, i.e., a transmitting node can determine whether a collision has occurred by sensing the carrier. At the same time, the nature of wireless networks prevents wireless nodes from being able to detect a collision. This is the case, in part, because in wireless networks the nodes can send and receive but cannot sense packets traversing the carrier after the transmission has started. Another problem arises when two transmitting nodes are out of range of each other, but the receiving node is within range of both. In this case, a transmitting node cannot sense another transmitting node that is out of communications range. IEEE 802.11 protocols are the basis for wireless network products using the Wi-Fi brand and are the world's most widely used wireless computer networking standards. With IEEE 802.11 packet collision features come deficiencies, like fairness. 802.11’s approach to certain parameters after each successful transmission may cause the node who succeeds in transmitting to dominate the channel for an arbitrarily long period of time. As a result, other nodes may suffer from severe short-term unfairness. Also, the current state of the network (e.g., load) is something that also should be factored. In general, there is a need for techniques to recognize network patterns and determine certain parameters that are responsive to those network patterns.