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This paper studies the interplay between network coding and spatial reuse in wireless mesh networks. We present a method that attempts to maximize the system performance by exploiting effectively (and not greedily) coding opportunities through appropriate routing and achieving efficient spectrum reuse through opportunistic link scheduling. We show that judiciously selecting coding structures requires proper transmission power allocation to better manage cumulative interference in the network, and thus yield better spectrum spatial reuse and effective multi-hop system throughput. We present an optimization model for this complex design problem, which relies on the enumeration of all possible schedules and decompose it into subproblems which we can solve more efficiently. Our numerical results indicate that optimal joint coding and scheduling with proper power allocation yields a performance enhancement of more than 10% over that with maximal power transmission and more than 45% enhancement over a coding oblivious design model. Our results also revealed that network coding has only marginal benefits (~6%) in a dense network and that in such networks managing interference through proper power allocation yields very good performance.
Date of Publication: February 2011