Source-channel coding for wireless networks

Sammanfattning: The aim of source coding is to represent information as accurately as possible using as few bits as possible and in order to do so redundancy from the source needs to be removed. The aim of channel coding is in some sense the contrary, namely to introduce redundancy that can be exploited to protect the information when being transmitted over a nonideal channel. Combining these two techniques leads to the area of joint source–channel coding which in general makes it possible to achieve a better performance when designing a communication system than in the case when source and channel codes are designed separately. In this thesis two particular areas in joint source–channel coding are studied: multiple description coding (MDC) and soft decoding. Two new MDC schemes are proposed and investigated. The first is based on sorting a frame of samples and transmitting, as side-information/redundancy, an index that describes the resulting permutation. In case that some of the transmitted descriptors are lost during transmission this side information (if received) can be used to estimate the lost descriptors based on the received ones. The second scheme uses permutation codes to produce different descriptions of a block of source data. These descriptions can be used jointly to estimate the original source data. Finally, also the MDC method multiple description coding using pairwise correlating transforms as introduced by Wang et al is studied. A modification of the quantization in this method is proposed which yields a performance gain. A well known result in joint source–channel coding is that the performance of a communication system can be improved by using soft decoding of the channel output at the cost of a higher decoding complexity. An alternative to this is to quantize the soft information and store the pre-calculated soft decision values in a lookup table. In this thesis we propose new methods for quantizing soft channel information, to be used in conjunction with soft-decision source decoding. The issue on how to best construct finite-bandwidth representations of soft information is also studied.