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A characterization of systematic network coding over multi-hop wireless networks is key towards understanding the trade-off between complexity and delay performance of networks that preserve the systematic structure. This paper studies the case of a relay channel, where the source's objective is to deliver a given number of data packets to a receiver with the aid of a relay. The source broadcasts to both the receiver and the relay using one frequency, while the relay uses another frequency for transmissions to the receiver, allowing for a full-duplex operation of the relay. The authors analyze the decoding complexity and delay performance of two types of relays: one that preserves the systematic structure of the code from the source; another that does not.
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