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On the Reliability Function of Variable-Rate Slepian-Wolf Coding

College of Electronic Information and Automation, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin 300222, China
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada
Google, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in the 45th Annual Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing, Monticello, IL, USA, 26–28 September 2007.
Entropy 2017, 19(8), 389;
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 28 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiuser Information Theory)
PDF [934 KB, uploaded 30 July 2017]


The reliability function of variable-rate Slepian-Wolf coding is linked to the reliability function of channel coding with constant composition codes, through which computable lower and upper bounds are derived. The bounds coincide at rates close to the Slepian-Wolf limit, yielding a complete characterization of the reliability function in that rate region. It is shown that variable-rate Slepian-Wolf codes can significantly outperform fixed-rate Slepian-Wolf codes in terms of rate-error tradeoff. Variable-rate Slepian-Wolf coding with rate below the Slepian-Wolf limit is also analyzed. In sharp contrast with fixed-rate Slepian-Wolf codes for which the correct decoding probability decays to zero exponentially fast if the rate is below the Slepian-Wolf limit, the correct decoding probability of variable-rate Slepian-Wolf codes can be bounded away from zero. View Full-Text
Keywords: channel coding; duality; reliability function; Slepian-Wolf coding channel coding; duality; reliability function; Slepian-Wolf coding

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Chen, J.; He, D.-K.; Jagmohan, A.; Lastras-Montaño, L.A. On the Reliability Function of Variable-Rate Slepian-Wolf Coding. Entropy 2017, 19, 389.

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