On the Role of Network Coding in Uncoordinated Multihop Content Distribution Over Ad Hoc Networks

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Executive Summary

The authors consider the problem of multi-hop communication in ad hoc networks. This work was originally motivated by vehicular networks, and has application in numerous fields. The key constraint in such systems is the infeasibility of coordination. Because no single node has global knowledge of the network topology, centralized scheduling of transmissions and routing of packets is prohibitively expensive. They propose instead a simple distributed protocol, based on independent channel access and random network coding. This scheme does not require link level feedback, and nodes need not even track the identities of their current neighbors.

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