On the role of the refinement layer in multiple description coding and scalable coding

Jia Wang, Jun Chen, Lei Zhao, Paul Cuff, Haim Permuter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We clarify the relationship among several existing achievable multiple description rate-distortion regions by investigating the role of refinement layer in multiple description coding. Specifically, we show that the refinement layer in the El Gamal-Cover (EGC) scheme and the VenkataramaniKramerGoyal (VKG) scheme can be removed; as a consequence, the EGC region is equivalent to the EGC* region (an antecedent version of the EGC region) while the VKG region (when specialized to the 2-description case) is equivalent to the ZhangBerger (ZB) region. Moreover, we prove that for multiple description coding with individual and hierarchical distortion constraints, the number of layers in the VKG scheme can be significantly reduced when only certain weighted sum rates are concerned. The role of refinement layer in scalable coding (a special case of multiple description coding) is also studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5714280
Pages (from-to)1443-1456
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


  • Contra-polymatroid
  • multiple description coding
  • rate-distortion region
  • scalable coding
  • successive refinement


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