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Fountain codes are a robust solution for data multicasting to a large number of receivers which experience variable channel conditions and different packet loss rates. However, the standard fountain code design becomes inefficient if all receivers have access to some side information correlated with the source information. We focus our attention on the cases where the correlation of the source and side information can be modelled by a binary erasure channel (BEC) or by a binary input additive white Gaussian noise channel (BIAWGNC). We analyse the performance of fountain codes in data multicasting with side information for these cases, derive bounds on their performance and provide a fast and robust linear programming optimization framework for code parameters. We demonstrate that systematic Raptor code design can be employed as a possible solution to the problem at the cost of higher encoding/decoding complexity, as it reduces the side information scenario to a channel coding problem. However, our results also indicate that a simpler solution, non-systematic LT and Raptor codes, can be designed to perform close to the information theoretic bounds.
Date of Publication: October 2009