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Fountain codes were introduced in as an efficient alternative to Automatic Retransmission Query (ARQ) protocols in multicast/broadcast transmission systems. In this scenario, the usage of an ARQ protocol can result in large inefficiencies, since users may loose different packets, and hence a large number of retransmissions would crowd the downlink channel. Among the efficient (coded) alternatives to ARQ protocols, the authors shall focus on fountain codes only. When a fountain code is used, the source file is split in a set of k source packets.
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