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In this paper, the authors propose an encoded packet-assisted retransmission, namely EAR, approach that use Opportunistic Network Coding (ONC) to improve the bandwidth efficiency for unicast sections in wireless networks. In existing ONC schemes, network coding opportunity are not always fully exploited due to the lack of understanding of the use of the encoded packets receivers cannot decode. To overcome this limitation, EAR develops an improved opportunistic listening mechanism that allows receivers to store all heard undecodable ONC packets and to periodically report the reception status to the sender.
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