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To reduce computational complexity and delay in randomized network coded content distribution, and for some other practical reasons, coding is not performed simultaneously over all content blocks, but over much smaller, possibly overlapping subsets of these blocks, known as generations. A penalty of this strategy is throughput reduction. To analyze the throughput loss, the authors model coding over generations with random generation scheduling as a coupon collector's brotherhood problem. This model enables one to derive the expected number of coded packets needed for successful decoding of the entire content as well as the probability of decoding failure (the latter only when generations do not overlap) and further, to quantify the tradeoff between computational complexity and throughput.
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