Adaptive coding optimization in wireless networks: Design and implementation aspects

Yi Shi, Yalin E. Sagduyu, Junshan Zhang, Jason H. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A fundamental challenge in wireless networks is how to handle packet loss due to noise, interference, and dynamic channel effects, especially when there is no per-packet acknowledgement due to additional delay and potential loss of feedback packets. We design and implement a packet coding optimization scheme, applied at the source node, to enhance end-to-end transmission reliability in a lossy multi-hop network. Specifically, each source node transmits a file of packets to its destination node in the network where the end-to-end packet acknowledgement is not readily available because of the possible error or delay effects over multiple hops. By simply retransmitting packets, a source node cannot guarantee innovative packet arrivals at the destination node. Thus, we design an optimization scheme for adaptive packet coding applied at the source node to avoid transmitting redundant packets, thereby significantly improving the throughput, even for the case of a single unicast session. This scheme does not require any knowledge of network topology and can seamlessly operate with any routing or network coding protocol used at the intermediate relay nodes. We analyze the throughput properties of coded transmissions and verify the feasibility of performance gains via simulations. Then, we provide high fidelity emulation testbed results with real radio transmissions over emulated channels to evaluate the throughput gains. Without relying on end-to-end acknowledgment for each packet, we show that the adaptive packet coding optimization scheme can achieve significantly higher throughput than the retransmission scheme in lossy networks with unicast traffic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7117455
Pages (from-to)5672-5680
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • Network coding
  • lossy networks
  • multi-hop networks
  • network emulation
  • retransmission
  • testbed
  • throughput

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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