On Optimal Policies for Network-Coded Cooperation: Theory and Implementation

Hana Khamfroush, Daniel E. Lucani, Peyman Pahlevani, Joao Barros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Network-coded cooperative communication (NC-CC) has been proposed and evaluated as a powerful technology that can provide a better quality of service in the next-generation wireless systems, e.g., D2D communications. Previous contributions have focused on performance evaluation of NC-CC scenarios rather than searching for optimal policies that can minimize the total cost of reliable packet transmission. We break from this trend by initially analyzing the optimal design of NC-CC for a wireless network with one source, two receivers, and half-duplex erasure channels. The problem is modeled as a special case of Markov decision process (MDP), which is called stochastic shortest path (SSP), and is solved for any field size, arbitrary number of packets, and arbitrary erasure probabilities of the channels. The proposed MDP solution results in an optimal transmission policy per time slot, and we use it to design near-optimal heuristics for packet transmission in a network of one source and N ≥ 2 receivers. We also present numerical results that illustrate the performance of the proposed heuristics under a variety of scenarios. To complete our analysis, our heuristics are implemented in Aalborg University's Raspberry Pi testbed and compared with random linear network coding (RLNC) broadcast in terms of completion time, total number of required transmissions, and percentage of delivered generations. Our measurements show that enabling cooperation only among pairs of devices can decrease the completion time by up to 4.75 times, while delivering 100% of the 10 000 generations transmitted, as compared to RLNC broadcast delivering only 88% of them in our tests.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6991522
Pages (from-to)199-212
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1983-2012 IEEE.


  • Network coding
  • cooperative communication
  • wireless networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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