In this paper, we analyze the impact of network coding (NC) configuration on the performance of ad hoc networks with the consideration of two significant factors, namely, the throughput loss and the decoding loss, which are jointly treated as the overhead of NC. In particular, physical-layer NC and random linear NC are adopted in static and mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), respectively. Furthermore, we characterize the goodput and delay/goodput tradeoff in static networks, which are also analyzed in MANETs for different mobility models (i.e., the random independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) mobility model and the random walk model) and transmission schemes (i.e., the two-hop relay scheme and the flooding scheme).
Moreover, the optimal configuration of NC, which consists of the data size, generation size, and NC Galois field, is derived to optimize the delay/goodput tradeoff and goodput. The theoretical results demonstrate that NC does not bring about order gain on delay/goodput tradeoff for each network model and scheme, except for the flooding scheme in a random i.i.d. mobility model. However, the goodput improvement is exhibited for all the proposed schemes in mobile networks. To our best knowledge, this is the first work to investigate the scaling laws of NC performance and configuration with the consideration of coding overhead in ad hoc networks.