A Loss-Recovery Scheme for Mixed Unicast and Multicast Traffic Using Network Coding

Zhiheng ZHOU
Liang ZHOU
Shengqiang LI

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E96-B    No.12    pp.3116-3123
Publication Date: 2013/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E96.B.3116
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Wireless Communication Technologies
wireless network,  network coding,  unicast,  multicast,  retransmission,  packet loss pattern,  

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In wireless networks, how to provide reliable data transfer is an important and challenging issue due to channel fading and interference. Several approaches, e.g., Automatic Repeat reQuest (ARQ), Hybrid ARQ (HARQ) and Network Coding (NC), are used to enhance reliability of transmission in wireless networks. However, we note that these schemes implement the data recovery process for mixed unicast and multicast (MUM) communications by simply separating the process into two phases, unicast and multicast phase. This is inefficient and expensive. In this paper, we propose an efficient retransmission scheme with network coding for MUM transmission, aiming at improving bandwidth utilization. UMNC searches for coding opportunities from both unicast and multicast flows, which offer the potential benefit of improved recovery in the event of packet loss. We theoretically prove that UMNC can effectively reduce the total number of retransmissions and thus improve bandwidth efficiency, compared with existing schemes.