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Forwarding vs. Network Coding: Efficient Broadcasting in Multihop Wireless Networks

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DOI: 10.4236/ijcns.2011.44025    4,093 Downloads   8,037 Views   Citations


Broadcasting is used as a building block in many MANET (Mobile Ad hoc Network) routing protocols. In addition, broadcasting is a key primitive in ad hoc networks to support group-based applications. Efficiently supporting broadcasting in multihop wireless networks is therefore important. In this paper, we compare ef-ficient broadcasting protocols based on packet forwarding with those based on network coding. Using a number of network scenarios, we derive lower bounds for the required number of packet retransmissions at the MAC layer to support broadcast with and without applying network coding techniques. We compare these lower bounds with each other, as well as with protocols proposed for each approach. More specifically, we use SMF and PDP as sample forwarding-based broadcast protocols, and a simple XOR-based coding protocol over SMF and PDP as representative network coding solution. The results show that neither packet forwarding protocols nor network coding protocols achieve the theoretical lower bounds, in particular as the size of the network area (at constant density) increases. The comparison of the lower bounds also shows that network coding does have a potential performance advantage over packet forwarding solutions for broad-casting in multi-hop wireless networks, in particular for larger fixed density networks, justifying its inherent increased complexity.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

S. Paul, T. Kunz and L. Li, "Forwarding vs. Network Coding: Efficient Broadcasting in Multihop Wireless Networks," International Journal of Communications, Network and System Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 4, 2011, pp. 205-218. doi: 10.4236/ijcns.2011.44025.


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