On the study of network coding with diversity

Zhiguo Ding, Kin K. Leung, Dennis L. Goeckel, Don Towsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Recently proposed physical-layer network coding (PNC) [1] has demonstrated the promise to significantly improve the throughput of wireless networks whose links can be modeled as additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channels. However, the extension to multipath channels is problematic, since the technique would then require both amplitude and phase compensation at each transmitter. Phase compensation requires accurate distributed phase tracking, whereas the required amplitude compensation is even more troubling, as it leads to an inefficient system that yields no diversity even in the presence of perfect channel estimates. Here, a system that avoids these limitations is obtained by reaching up one level higher in the network hierarchy and performing distributed relay selection with cognizance of the PNC technique that we will employ at the physical layer. Since the resulting scheme will achieve a form of selection diversity, we term it network coding with diversity (NCD). To facilitate performance evaluation, two information-theoretic metrics, the outage and ergodic capacity, are studied. Our analytical and simulation results show that the proposed protocol achieves more robust performance and higher system throughput than comparable schemes. Finally, the proposed network coding is extended to the context of cooperative multiple access channels, which yields a new cooperative protocol with larger outage and ergodic capacity compared with existing transmission schemes.

Original languageBritish English
Article number4801478
Pages (from-to)1247-1259
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Cooperative diversity
  • Multiple access channels
  • Network coding
  • Two-way relaying channels


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