The role of coding in the choice between routing and coding for wireless unicast
Consider a lossy packet network of queues, communicating over a wireless medium. This paper presents a throughput-optimal transmission strategy for a unicast network when feedback is available, which has the following advantages: It requires a very limited form of acknowledgment feedback. It is completely distributed, and independent of the network topology. Finally, communication at the information theoretic cut-set rate requires no network coding and no rateless coding on the packets. This simple strategy consists of each node randomly choosing a packet from its buffer to transmit at each opportunity. However, the packet is only deleted from a nodepsilas buffer once it has been successfully received by the final destination.