The elusive capacity of networks

What makes that question particularly hard to answer is that no one knows how to calculate the data capacity of a network as a whole — or even whether it can be calculated. Nonetheless, in the first half of a two-part paper, which was published recently in IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, MIT’s Muriel Médard, California Institute of Technology’s Michelle Effros and the late Ralf Koetter of the University of Technology in Munich show that in a wired network, network coding and error-correcting coding can be handled separately, without reduction in the network’s capacity. In the forthcoming second half of the paper, the same researchers demonstrate some bounds on the capacities of wireless networks, which could help guide future research in both industry and academia.

via The elusive capacity of networks – MIT News Office.