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The throughput benefits of random linear network codes have been studied extensively for wire-lined and wireless erasure networks. It is often assumed that all nodes within a network perform coding operations, for minimal centralized control while maximizing the throughput. In energy-constrained systems, however, coding sub-graphs should be chosen to minimize the number of coding nodes while maintaining the achievable throughput. In this paper, the authors explore the use of network coding in the wireless relay channel, where a single source communicates to a single sink through the aid of a relay in half-duplex mode. They characterize the throughput performance of this unicast connection when coding is performed at either the source or the relay.
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