Network information flow

Ahlswede R, Cai N, Li SYR, Yeung RW (2000)
In: IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION THEORY. 46. IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC: 1204-1216.

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Abstract
We introduce a new class of problems called network information flow which is inspired by computer network applications. Consider a point-to-point communication network on which a number of information sources are to be mulitcast to certain sets of destinations. We assume that the information sources are mutually independent. The problem is to characterize the admissible coding rate region. This model subsumes all previously studied models along the same line. In this paper, we study the problem with one information source, and we have obtained a simple characterization of the admissible coding rate region. Our result can be regarded as the Max-flow Min-cut Theorem for network information flow. Contrary to one's intuition, our work reveals that it is in general not optimal to regard the information to be multicast as a "fluid'' which can simply be routed or replicated. Rather, by employing coding at the nodes, which we refer to as network coding, bandwidth can in general be saved. This finding may have significant impact on future design of switching systems.
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Ahlswede R, Cai N, Li SYR, Yeung RW. Network information flow. In: IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION THEORY. Vol 46. IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC; 2000: 1204-1216.
Ahlswede, R., Cai, N., Li, S. Y. R., & Yeung, R. W. (2000). Network information flow. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION THEORY, 46(4), 1204-1216.
Ahlswede, R., Cai, N., Li, S. Y. R., and Yeung, R. W. (2000). “Network information flow” in IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION THEORY, vol. 46, (IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC), 1204-1216.
Ahlswede, R., et al., 2000. Network information flow. In IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION THEORY. no.46 IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC, pp. 1204-1216.
R. Ahlswede, et al., “Network information flow”, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION THEORY, vol. 46, IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC, 2000, pp.1204-1216.
Ahlswede, R., Cai, N., Li, S.Y.R., Yeung, R.W.: Network information flow. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION THEORY. 46, p. 1204-1216. IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC (2000).
Ahlswede, Rudolf, Cai, Ning, Li, S. Y. Robert, and Yeung, Raymond W. “Network information flow”. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION THEORY. IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC, 2000.Vol. 46. 1204-1216.
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