Linear Network Codes: A Unified Framework for Source, Channel, and Network Coding

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Executive Summary

The authors examine the issue of separation and code design for network data transmission environments. They demonstrate that source-channel separation holds for several canonical network channel models when the whole network operates over a common finite field. Their approach uses linear codes. This simple, unifying framework allows them to re-establish with economy the optimality of linear codes for single transmitter channels and for Slepian-Wolf source coding. It also enables them to establish the optimality of linear codes for multiple access channels and for erasure broadcast channels.

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