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Network coding has recently emerged as an alternative to traditional routing algorithms in communication systems. In network coding, the network nodes combine the packets they receive before forwarding them to the neighboring nodes. Intensive research efforts have demonstrated that such a processing in the network nodes can provide advantages in terms of throughput or robustness. These potentials, combined with the advent of ad hoc and wireless delivery architectures have triggered the interest of research community about the application of the network coding principles to media streaming applications. This paper describes the potentials of network coding in emerging delivery architectures such as overlay or peer-to-peer networks. It overviews the principles of practical network coding algorithms and outlines the challenges posed by multimedia streaming applications.
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