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In previous work, unequal error-protection techniques have been applied to improve the throughput of a wireless communication system in which a transmission is received by several radios with different capabilities. For instance, these capabilities may correspond to differences in path loss, fading, or interference. By taking advantage of the broadcast nature of the channel, additional messages for the more-capable receivers can be included on transmissions to the less-capable receivers at very little cost (in terms of required energy at the transmitter or error probabilities at the receivers). This technique has been termed simulcasting or multicast signaling. In this paper, we consider the use of these techniques in an ad hoc network. These techniques impact the link throughput, end-to-end throughput, and network connectivity. We investigate how the choice of parameters for the simulcasting technique affects these network performance metrics. The results indicate that a properly chosen simulcasting technique can improve the link and end-to-end throughput in wireless ad hoc networks with only a slight degradation in other metrics, such as network connectivity.
Date of Publication: March 2005