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The power of ‘random’: A ‘seemingly loopy’ technique that RLE researchers helped develop could dramatically improve the efficiency of communications networks

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A radical new approach to the design of communications networks, called “network coding” promises to make Internet file sharing faster, streaming video more reliable, and cell-phone reception better—among other improvements. “Most networks right now are built roughly along the same principles as a transportation network, or any other network that’s trying to deliver tangible goods,” says Muriel Médard, a professor in the RLE. A packet of data traveling across the Internet, for instance, passes through a series of devices called routers before it reaches its destination. A router doesn’t tamper with the packet’s contents; it just sends it on to the next router. <<more>>

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The power of ‘random’

Professor Muriel Médard

RLE Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group