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A New View of Network Capacity: Can a Little Mean a Lot?

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Kerri Hastings

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The traditional view of information theory breaks communication systems into small components whose performance limits we study in isolation. While the motivation for such a "divide and conquer" strategy is obvious, the approach has many draw backs. In this work, we take an alternative approach, studying small components by investigating their impact on the larger networks in which they are employed. This new approach is useful for understanding both network vulnerabilities and communication opportunities, yielding surprising new insights and tantalizing new mysteries for future exploration.