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In information theory, it has been shown that network coding can effectively improve the throughput of multicast communication sessions in directed acyclic graphs. More practically, random network coding is also instrumental towards improving the downloading performance in BitTorrent-like peer-to-peer content distribution sessions. Live peer-to-peer streaming, however, poses unique challenges to the use of network coding, due to its strict timing and bandwidth constraints. In this paper, the authors revisit the complete spectrum in the design space of live peer-to-peer streaming protocols, with a sole objective of taking full advantage of random network coding.
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