Lossless coding of correlated sources with actions Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper studies the problem of the distributed compression of correlated sources with an action-dependent joint distribution. This class of problems is, in fact, an extension of the Slepian-Wolf model, but where cost-constrained actions taken by the encoder or the decoder affect the generation of one of the sources. The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of actions on the achievable rates. In particular, two cases where transmission occurs over a rate-limited link are studied; case A for actions taken at the decoder and case B where actions are taken at the encoder. A complete single-letter characterization of the set of achievable rates is given in both cases. Furthermore, a network coding setup for the case where actions are taken at the encoder is investigated. The sources are generated at different nodes of the network and are required at a set of terminal nodes, yet transmission occurs over a general, acyclic, directed network. For this setup, generalized cut-set bounds are derived, and a full characterization of the set of achievable rates using single-letter expressions is provided. For this scenario, random linear network coding is proved to be optimal, even though this is not a classical multicast problem. In addition, two binary examples are investigated and demonstrate how actions taken at different nodes of the system have a significant effect on the achievable rate region, when compared with a naive time-sharing strategy.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017