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This paper applies Information Theoretic analysis to packet-based random multiple access communication systems. A new channel coding approach is proposed for coding within each data packet with built-in support for bursty traffic properties, such as message underflow, and for random access properties, such as packet collision detection. The coding approach does not require joint communication rate determination either among the transmitters or between the transmitters and the receiver. Its performance limitation is characterized by an achievable region defined in terms of communication rates, such that reliable packet recovery is supported for all rates inside the region and reliable collision detection is supported for all rates outside the region.
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