The Serializability of Network Codes

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Executive Summary

Network coding theory studies the transmission of information in networks whose vertices may perform nontrivial encoding and decoding operations on data as it passes through the network. The main approach to deciding the feasibility of network coding problems aims to reduce the problem to optimization over a polytope of "Entropic vectors" subject to constraints imposed by the network structure. In the case of directed acyclic graphs, these constraints are completely understood, but for general graphs the problem of enumerating them remains open: It is not known how to classify the constraints implied by a property that the authors call serializability, which refers to the absence of paradoxical circular dependencies in a network code.

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