Raymond W YeungTalk Title: BATS: Network Coding in Action


Network coding can significantly improve the transmission rate of communication networks with packet loss compared with routing. However, using network coding usually incurs higher computational and storage costs in the network devices and terminals. For example, some network coding schemes require the computational and/or storage capabilities of an intermediate network node to increase linearly with the number of packets for transmission, making them difficult to be implemented in a router-like device that has only constant computational and storage capabilities.

In this talk, we introduce BATS code, which enables a digital fountain approach to resolve the above issue. BATS code is a coding scheme that consists of an outer code and an inner code.  The outer code is a matrix generalization of a fountain code.  It works with the inner code which comprises random linear coding at the intermediate network nodes.  BATS codes preserve such desirable properties of fountain codes as ratelessness and low encoding/decoding complexity. The computational and storage capabilities of the intermediate network nodes required for applying BATS codes are independent of the number of packets for transmission. It has been verified theoretically for certain special cases and demonstrated numerically for general cases that BATS codes can achieve rates very close to optimality.

As a variation of BATS code, the outer code can be replaced by a (matrix generalized) LDPC code. We will also discuss the possibility of using convolutional codes and turbo codes as the outer code, which may have certain advantages over the existing ones.


Raymond W. Yeung received the BS, MEng and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1984, 1985, and 1988, respectively. He was with AT&T Bell Laboratories from 1988 to 1991. He joined CUHK in 1991 and has been with Department of Information Engineering since then, where he is currently a Choh-Ming Li Professor of Information Engineering. A cofounder of the field of network coding, he has been serving as Co-Director of the Institute of Network Coding at CUHK since 2010. He is the author of the books A First Course in Information Theory (Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2002) and Information Theory and Network Coding (Springer 2008), which have been adopted by over 100 institutions around the world. In spring 2014, he gave the first MOOC in the world on information theory that reached over 25,000 students. His research interest is in information theory and network coding. He was a consultant in a project of Jet Propulsion Laboratory for salvaging the malfunctioning Galileo Spacecraft.

He was a recipient of the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship for 2000/01, the 2005 IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award, the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2007, the 2016 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award, and the 2018 ACM SIGMOBILE Test-of-Time Paper Award. In 2015, he was named an Outstanding Overseas Chinese Information Theorist by the China Information Theory Society. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences, and Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.