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Handbook on Array Processing and Sensor Networks by K. J. Ray Liu, Simon Haykin

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images CHAPTER 20

Network Coding for Sensor Networks

Christina Fragouli

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Lausanne Switzerland

20.1 INTRODUCTION

Network coding is a new area that promises to revolutionize the way we treat information in a network and have a deep impact on all network functionalities, such as routing, network storage, and network design. Four monographs and a book have recently been published [1–5] on this subject as well as a number of tutorial articles [6–9]. This chapter explores the application of network coding in sensor networks.

Network coding deals with a very fundamental principle, namely, how we treat information flow; it is thus no surprise that it has reached and offers benefits for a wide range of applications, such as peer-to-peer networks, router design, chip design, distributed storage, network security, and network tomography (for a review of such applications see, e.g., [4]). It is this author's belief, however, that ad hoc wireless sensor networks is an area where network coding can have an immediate impact for the following reasons:

  • This is an environment that is currently in the design stage and thus has the flexibility to accommodate new protocols.
  • Network coding requires intermediate nodes to perform some sort of packet processing. In sensor networks, node processing has always been advocated, albeit for different reasons: for example, ...

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