MAC-Layer Proactive Mixing for Network Coding in Multi-Hop Wireless Networks

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Executive Summary

Network coding is a recent research topic in wireless networking. By combining multiple packets in a single broadcast transmission, network coding can greatly improve the capacity of multi-hop wireless networks. Packet mixing, when applied with traditional routing, can only be performed at the junctions of the paths determined by the routing module. This limits significantly the coding opportunities in the network. This paper presents a novel MAC-layer mixing method, named BEND, which proactively seizes opportunities for coding. Without relying on fixed forwarders, BEND allows each node in the neighborhood to be a potential coder and forwarder and coordinates their packet transmissions for higher coding gain.

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