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This paper investigates the fundamental limits on the gain of joint Network Coding and link-layer transmission Rate Diversity in wireless multicast applications. Network Coding has been shown to improve throughput of wireless multicast in various scenarios and applications. Those applications can further exploit link-layer Rate Diversity, whereby individual nodes can transmit at faster rates than the overall uniform rate at the expense of smaller coverage area. The benefits of Rate Diversity for wireless multicast have been demonstrated before, without considering the inter-connections between network coding and rate diversity. In this paper, the authors address the performance of Network Coding and Multi-Rate Diversity in wireless multicast networks and thereby derive formal bounds on the throughput gain for such networks.
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