David H. Jaffe - Belmont CA
Hoke S. Johnson - Monte Sereno CA
Chris W. Eidler - Morgan Hill CA
MTI Technology Corporation - Anaheim CA
A scheduling mechanism is provided for controlling when the arbitration circuit of a node sharing a CSMA communication medium is to start CSMA arbitration for access to the communication medium once the node has a message ready for transmission, the scheduling mechanism delaying the arbitration circuit from seeking access if total transmission activity on the communication medium exceeds a total use threshold value and transmission activity of the node exceeds a local use threshold value, and otherwise permitting the arbitration circuit to seek access to the communication medium by arbitration in accordance with a priority value assigned to the node.