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Erasure control coding has been exploited in communication networks with an aim to improve the end-to-end performance of data delivery across the network. To address the concerns over the strengths and constraints of erasure coding schemes in this application, we examine the performance limits of two erasure control coding strategies, forward erasure recovery and adaptive erasure recovery. Our investigation shows that the throughput of a network using an (n, k) forward erasure control code is capped by r =k/n when the packet loss rate p ≤(te/n) and by k(1-p)/(n-te) when p >; (te/n), where te is the erasure control capability of the code. It also shows that the lower bound of the residual loss rate of such a network is (np-te) /(n-te) for (te/n) <; p ≤ 1. Especially, if the code used is maximum distance separable, the Shannon capacity of the erasure channel, i.e. 1-p, can be achieved and the residual loss rate is lower bounded by (p+r-1)/r, for (1-r)<; p ≤ 1. To address the requirements in real-time applications, we also investigate the service completion time of different schemes. It is revealed that the latency of the forward erasure recovery scheme is fractionally higher than that of the scheme without erasure control coding or retransmission mechanisms (using UDP), but much lower than that of the adaptive erasure scheme when the packet loss rate is high. Results on comparisons between the two erasure control schemes exhibit their advantages as well as disadvantages in the role of delivering end-to-end services. To show the impact of the bounds derived on the end-to-end performance of a TCP/IP network, a case study is provided to demonstrate how erasure control coding could be used to maximize the performance of practical systems.
Date of Conference: 17-20 Oct. 2010