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International Journal of Digital Multimedia Broadcasting
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 310647, 9 pages
Research Article

The Exploration of Network Coding in IEEE 802.15.4 Networks

1School of Computer Science and Engineering, The University of Aizu, Fukushima-Ken 965-8580, Japan
2Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
3School of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of New South Wales at the Australia Defence Force Academy, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Received 30 December 2010; Accepted 11 April 2011

Academic Editor: Ning Chen

Copyright © 2011 Deze Zeng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Wireless personal area networks (WPANs) are getting popular in a variety of fields such as smart home, office automation, and e-healthcare. In WPANs, most devices are considerably energy constrained, so the communication protocol should be energy efficient. The IEEE 802.15.4 is designed as a standard protocol for low power, low data rate, low complexity, and short range connections in WPANs. The standard supports allocating several numbers of collision-free guarantee time slots (GTSs) within a superframe for some time-critical transmissions. Recently, COPE was proposed as a promising network coding architecture to essentially improve the throughput of wireless networks. In this paper, we exploit the network coding technique at coordinators to improve energy efficiency of the WPAN. Some related practical issues, such as GTS allocation and multicast, are also discussed in order to exploit the network coding opportunities efficiently. Since the coding opportunities are mostly exploited, our proposal achieves both higher energy efficiency and throughput performance than the original IEEE 802.15.4.