Optimal Decoding and Performance Analysis of a Noisy Channel Network with Network Coding

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Executive Summary

The authors investigate sink decoding approaches and performance analysis for a network with intermediate node encoding (coded network). The network consists of statistically independent noisy channels. The sink Bit Error Probability (BEP) is the performance measure. First, they investigate soft-decision decoding without statistical information on the upstream channels (the channels not directly connected to the sink). Numerical results show that the decoder cannot significantly improve the performance from a hard-decision decoder. They develop union bounds for analysis. The bounds show the asymptotic (regarding SNR: Signal-to-Noise Ratio) performance of the decoder. Using statistical information about the upstream channels, they can find the error patterns of final hop channels (channels directly connected to sinks).

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