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RapidFlow: An Experimental Testbed for Information Flows with Network Coding

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2 Author(s)
Mea Wang ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Toronto Univ., Ont. ; Baochun Li

Network coding refers to the capability of coding incoming information flows before transmitting to other nodes in the network, beyond the traditional capabilities of message forwarding and replication on a network node. It has been envisioned that network coding is best applied to overlay networks, in which network nodes are computers at the edge of the Internet and are sufficiently capable and flexible to perform coding operations. There exist a wide range of theoretical studies on the benefits of network coding, especially with respect to throughput improvements in the multicast case. However, there has been very little published work on the empirical analysis regarding the benefits and drawbacks of network coding in realistic overlay networks. Towards this objective, we have designed and implemented RapidFlow, a complete and easy-to-use experimental testbed for studying information flows with network coding. In RapidFlow, each node is equipped with a high-performance overlay message switch and a randomized network coding mechanism. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of RapidFlow in an emulated overlay network running on a cluster of work-stations, as well as our initial experimental observations with respect to the performance of coded information flows

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Communications, 2006 International Zurich Seminar on

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