Realizing the Benefits of Wireless Network Coding in Multi-Rate Settings
Network coding has been proposed as a technique that can potentially increase the transport capacity of a wireless network via mixing data packets at intermediate routers. However, most previous studies either assume a fixed transmission rate or do not consider the impact of using diverse rates on the network coding gain. Since in many cases, network coding implicitly relies on overhearing, the choice of the transmission rate has a big impact on the achievable gains. The use of higher rates works in favor of increasing the native throughput; however, it may in many cases work against effective overhearing. In other words, there is a tension between the achievable network coding gain and the inherent rate gain possible on a link.