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On Multi-source Networks: Enumeration, Rate Region Computation, and Hierarchy


This paper investigates the enumeration, rate region computation, and hierarchy of general multi-source multi-sink hyperedge networks under network coding, which includes multiple network models, such as independent distributed storage systems and index coding problems, as special cases. A notion of minimal networks and a notion of network equivalence under group action are defined. An efficient algorithm capable of directly listing single minimal canonical representatives from each network equivalence class is presented and utilized to list all minimal canonical networks with up to 5 sources and hyperedges. Computational tools are then applied to obtain the rate regions of all of these canonical networks, providing exact expressions for 744,119 newly solved network coding rate regions corresponding to more than 2 trillion isomorphic network coding problems. In order to better understand and analyze the huge repository of rate regions through hierarchy, several embedding and combination operations are defined so that the rate region of the network after operation can be derived from the rate regions of networks involved in the operation. The embedding operations enable the definition and determination of a list of forbidden network minors for the sufficiency of classes of linear codes. The combination operations enable the rate regions of some larger networks to be obtained as the combination of the rate regions of smaller networks. The integration of both the combinations and embedding operators is then shown to enable the calculation of rate regions for many networks not reachable via combination operations alone.