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Network coding, with the potential to deliver increased network capacity, promises to have a significant impact on the way communications networks are designed, operated, and understood. This is the first book to present a unified and intuitive overview of the theory, applications, challenges, and future directions of this emerging field, making this a must-have resource for those working in wireless communications. By explaining the ideas and practical techniques, Ho and Lun take an engineering-oriented approach, which starts with the basic ideas, models, and theory, then covers a core subset of results in detail with full proofs, while surveying others. The mathematical underpinnings, practical algorithms, and issues such as code selection, security, and network management are all covered. The key topics of inter-session (non-multicast) network coding, lossy networks, lossless networks, and subgraph selection algorithms are discussed in detail. The result is an authoritative introduction to network coding that provides not only the background to support research efforts, but also the practical considerations for those involved in designing wireless systems. Organized in a modular way so that you can quickly access your topic of interest, be it theoretical capacity bounds or practical implementation, this book is an essential resource for graduate students and researchers in electrical and computer engineering, as well as for practitioners in the communications industry. Tracey Ho is Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the California Institute of Technology. In 2004, she was awarded her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and, in 2005, was named one of the 35 top technology innovators under the age of 35 by Technology Review. Desmond S. Lun is a Computational Biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and a Research Fellow in Genetics at Harvard Medical School. In 2006, he was awarded his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT