Enhancing the Reliability of TCP With Network Coding

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Executive Summary

Reliable transport protocols such as TCP are tuned to perform well in traditional networks where packet losses occur mostly because of congestion. However, networks with wireless and other lossy links also suffer from significant non-congestion related losses due to reasons such as bit errors, fading and handoffs. TCP responds to all losses by invoking congestion control and avoidance algorithms, resulting in degraded end-to-end performance in wireless and lossy systems. Network coding is a technique wherein the output flow at a given node is obtained by a linear combination of its input flows.

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