Communicating the sum of sources over a network

Aditya Ramamoorthy, Michael Langberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider the network communication scenario, over directed acyclic networks with unit capacity edges in which a number of sources si each holding independent unit-entropy information Xi wish to communicate the sum sum Xi to a set of terminals tj. We show that in the case in which there are only two sources or only two terminals, communication is possible if and only if each source terminal pair s i/tj is connected by at least a single path. For the more general communication problem in which there are three sources and three terminals, we prove that a single path connecting the source terminal pairs does not suffice to communicate sum Xi. We then present an efficient encoding scheme which enables the communication of \sum Xi for the three sources, three terminals case, given that each source terminal pair is connected by em two edge disjoint paths.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6481620
Pages (from-to)655-665
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Network coding
  • distributed source coding
  • function computation
  • multicast


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