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Network coding is known to benefit the downlink retranmissions by the AP in a wireless LAN from exploiting overhearing at the client nodes. However, designing an efficient and practical retranmission scheme remains a challenge. The authors present an (asymptotically) optimal scheme, ECR, for reducing the downlink retransmissions by the AP in a wireless LAN from exploiting overhearing at the client nodes. The design of ECR, consisting of three components: batch-based operations, a systematic phase-based network coding decision policy, and smooth integration of inter-flow and intra-flow coding, is accompanied by a theoretical underpinning, yet enables practical implementation on off-the-shelf 802.11 hardware. They analytically show ECR can achieve much higher reduction in packet retransmissions than previous schemes, and validate its performance gain via simulations and testbed implementation.
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