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Experimental study of the interplay of channel and network coding in low power sensor applications

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4 Author(s)
Angelopoulos, G. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA ; Paidimarri, A. ; Chandrakasan, A.P. ; Medard, M.

In this paper, we evaluate the performance of random linear network coding (RLNC) in low data rate indoor sensor applications operating in the ISM frequency band. We also investigate the results of its synergy with forward error correction (FEC) codes at the PHY-layer in a joint channel-network coding (JCNC) scheme. RLNC is an emerging coding technique which can be used as a packet-level erasure code, usually implemented at the network layer, which increases data reliability against channel fading and severe interference, while FEC codes are mainly used for correction of random bit errors within a received packet. The hostile wireless environment that low power sensors usually operate in, with significant interference from nearby networks, motivates us to consider a joint coding scheme and examine the applicability of RLNC as an erasure code in such a coding structure. Our analysis and experiments are performed using a custom low power sensor node, which integrates on-chip a low-power 2.4 GHz transmitter and an accelerator implementing a multi-rate convolutional code and RLNC, in a typical office environment. According to measurement results, RLNC of code rate 4/8 can provide an effective SNR improvement of about 3.4 dB, outperforming a PHY-layer FEC code of the same code rate, at a PER of 10-2. In addition, RLNC performs very well when used in conjunction with a PHY-layer FEC code as a JCNC scheme, offering an overall coding gain of 5.6 dB.

Published in:

Communications (ICC), 2013 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

9-13 June 2013