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Multicast is a fundamental communication operation in wireless sensor networks whereby a source sensor transmits its information to a relevant subset of sensors in the network. Motivated by this, we study the advantage of network coding for minimizing the total power needed for multicast in wireless networks. We show that there is an absolute constant, depending only on the power gradient and the dimension of the underlying Euclidean space, that bounds the maximum advantage of network coding. An interesting aspect of our result is that it shows that the advantage of coding remains bounded by a constant even when compared to a multicast scheme without coding that is restricted to do only point-to-point transmissions.
Date of Conference: 22-24 April 2008