MAC Design for Analog Network Coding

Unknown author (2010-08-02)

Most medium access control mechanisms discard collided packets and consider interference harmful. Recent work on Analog Network Coding (ANC) suggests a different approach, in which multiple interfering transmissions are strategically scheduled. The received collisions are collected and then used in a decoding process, such as the ZigZag decoding process, where the packets involved in the collisions are extracted. In this paper, we present an algebraic representation of collisions and describe a general approach to recovering collisions using ANC. To study the eect of using ANC on the performance of MAC layers, we develop an ANC-based algorithm that implements an abstract MAC layer service, as defined in [1, 2], and analyze its performance. This study proves that ANC can significantly improve the performance of MAC layer services, in terms of probabilistic time guarantees for packet delivery. We illustrate how this improvement at the MAC layer can translate into faster higher-level algorithms, by analyzing the time complexity of a multiple-message network-wide broadcast algorithm that uses our ANC-based MAC service.