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Network coding is an effective method to improve channel efficiency by reducing the number of transmissions. However, most existing network coding schemes are based on network layer broadcast. As a result packets become vulnerable to channel errors due to lack of retransmissions. In this paper, the authors present a cross-layer signal processing technique and show that network coded signal mixed from different flows can be separated in the physical layer by exploiting a priori knowledge. Then, they propose the soft network coding framework for multi-hop forwarding. This framework enables layer-2 retransmission and further reduces packet errors by combining retransmitted copies.
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