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HopCaster: A network coding-based hop-by-hop reliable multicast protocol

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5 Author(s)
Rami Halloush ; Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, USA ; Hang Liu ; Lijun Dong ; Mingquan Wu
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Intra-flow network coding (NC) is an innovative technique that has potential to improve multicast performance in wireless mesh networks (WMNs) by allowing intermediate forwarding nodes (FNs) to use coding and overhearing to reduce the number of required transmissions. However the benefits of the NC technology are limited unless there are protocols to exploit its capabilities. The existing intra-flow NC-based multicast protocols are all based upon the conventional end-to-end transport principle. By such a principle, intermediate FNs are unable to accurately determine the minimum number of coded packets they should transmit in order to ensure successful data delivery to the destinations, and hence redundant packets can be injected into the network, leading to performance degradation. Furthermore, the existing protocols cannot handle the bandwidth heterogeneity of multicast receivers very well. We argue that a receiver-driven hop-by-hop transport approach is more suitable for intra-flow NC and these two techniques can create synergy by enabling cooperation among the FNs. In this paper we propose HopCaster, a novel protocol that incorporates intra-flow NC with hop-by-hop transport to achieve high-throughput reliable multicast and to solve the heterogeneous receiver issue. It completely eliminates the need for estimating the number of coded packets to be transmitted by a FN and avoids transmission of redundant packets, as well as simplifies multicast management and congestion control. Moreover, HopCaster employs a cross-layer rate adaptation mechanism that optimizes radio transmission rate in hop-by-hop multicast by taking into consideration next-hop node population changes. Our evaluations show that HopCaster outperforms the existing NC-based reliable multicast protocol.

Published in:

Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM), 2012 IEEE

Date of Conference:

3-7 Dec. 2012