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A systematic study of Physical LAyer Network coding

From information-theoretic understanding to practical DSP algorithm design (P.L.A.N)


March 2012 to March 2015

Project staff

Prof Gui Yun Tian


EPSRC (EP/I037423)


Alcatel Lucent, BP Refining Technology, Infineon Technologies France


High spectral efficiency is the holy grail of wireless networks due to the well-known scarcity of radio spectrum. Recently, there seemed to be no way out of the apparent end of the road in spectral efficiency growth. But the emerging approach of Network Coding has cast new light in the spectral efficiency prospects of wireless networks.

Initial results have demonstrated that the use of network coding increases the spectral efficiency up to 50%. Such a significant performance gain is crucial for many important bandwidth-hungry applications. These applications include broadband cellular systems, wireless sensor networks, underwater communication scenarios.

Network coding has received a lot of attention from the wireless communication community. But many existing works focused on the application of network coding to upper layers. The study of its impact on the physical layer (PHY) design only began recently.

This project will systematically study network coding at the physical layer. We will characterise the fundamental limits of physical layer network coding. We will also design practical digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms. These will realise the performance gain promised by the theoretical results.