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Motivated by streaming applications with stringent delay constraints, the authors consider the design of online network coding algorithms with timely delivery guarantees. Assuming that the sender is providing the same data to multiple receivers over independent packet erasure channels, they focus on the case of perfect feedback and heterogeneous erasure probabilities. Based on a general analytical framework for evaluating the decoding delay, they show that existing ARQ schemes fail to ensure that receivers with weak channels are able to recover from packet losses within reasonable time.
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