Topics in Network Coding and Network Information Theory (Reading Course)



  • 2013 Autumn/Monsoon (Aug - Dec)

In 1948 Shannon established information theory and this theory provides the theoretical underpinnings of all modern communication systems. Shannon’s theory focused mostly on the point-to-point communication problem. Recently significant progress has been made in understanding information flow over networks. The course will cover progress made in the past 2-3 decades with particular focus on more recent results. Topics will be drawn from network coding (which shows the surprising result that even in noiseless wireline networks, coding across packets is strictly superior to routing), state-of-the-art results on models for communication networks (multiple-access, broadcast, relay, interference networks), distributed source coding (which studies compression & dissemination of dependent data spread out over a network, e.g., sensor networks), information theoretic cryptography, etc. Apart from current literature, we will use the following references.


A. El Gamal and Y-H. Kim, Network Information Theory, Cambridge (2011).

R. Yeung, Information Theory and Network Coding, Springer (2008). [available online]

Evaluation: based on student presentations and a course project.