Asymmetric multilevel diversity coding and asymmetric Gaussian multiple descriptions

Soheil Mohajer, Chao Tian, Suhas N. Diggavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We consider the asymmetric multilevel diversity (A-MLD) coding problem, where a set of 2K-1 information sources, ordered in a decreasing level of importance, is encoded into K messages (or descriptions). There are 2K-1 decoders, each of which has access to a nonempty subset of the encoded messages. Each decoder is required to reproduce the information sources up to a certain importance level depending on the combination of descriptions available to it. We obtain a single letter characterization of the achievable rate region for the 3-description problem. In contrast to symmetric multilevel diversity coding, source-separation coding is not sufficient in the asymmetric case, and ideas akin to network coding need to be used strategically. Based on the intuitions gained in treating the A-MLD problem, we derive inner and outer bounds for the rate region of the asymmetric Gaussian multiple description (MD) problem with three descriptions. Both the inner and outer bounds have a similar geometric structure to the rate region template of the A-MLD coding problem, and, moreover, we show that the gap between them is constant, which results in an approximate characterization of the asymmetric Gaussian three description rate region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5550379
Pages (from-to)4367-4387
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Asymmetry
  • multilevel diversity coding
  • multiple descriptions
  • rate-distortion


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