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"... We take a unified view of network coding and decentralized control. Precisely speaking, we consider both as linear time-invariant systems by appropriately restricting channels and coding schemes of network coding to be linear time-invariant, and the plant and controllers of decentralized control to ..."

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We take a unified view of network coding and decentralized control. Precisely speaking, we consider both as linear time-invariant systems by appropriately restricting channels and coding schemes of network coding to be linear time-invariant, and the plant and controllers of decentralized control to be linear time-invariant as well. First, we apply linear system theory to network coding. This gives a novel way of converting an arbitrary relay network to an equivalent acyclic single-hop relay network, which we call Network Linearization. Based on network linearization, we prove that the fundamental design limit, mincut, is achievable by a linear time-invariant network-coding scheme regardless of the network topology. Then, we use the network-coding to view decentralized linear systems. We argue that linear time-invariant controllers in a decentralized linear system “communicate ” via linear network coding to stabilize the plant. To justify this argument, we give an algorithm to “externalize ” the implicit communication between the controllers that we believe must be occurring to stabilize the plant. Based on this, we show that the stabilizability condition for decentralized linear systems comes from an underlying communication limit, which can be described by the algebraic mincut-maxflow theorem. With this re-interpretation in hand, we also consider stabilizability over LTI networks to emphasize the connection with network coding. In particular, in broadcast and unicast problems, unintended messages at the receivers will be modeled as secrecy constraints. I.