In this paper, we introduce the zero-delay multiple-description problem, where an encoder constructs two descriptions and the decoders receive a subset of these descriptions. The encoder and decoders are causal and operate under the restriction of zero delay, which implies that at each time instance, the encoder must generate codewords that can be decoded by the decoders using only the current and past codewords. For the case of discrete-time stationary scalar Gauss—Markov sources and quadratic distortion constraints, we present information-theoretic lower bounds on the average sum-rate in terms of the directed and mutual information rate between the source and the decoder reproductions. Furthermore, we show that the optimum test channel is in this case Gaussian, and it can be realized by a feedback coding scheme that utilizes prediction and correlated Gaussian noises. Operational achievable results are considered in the high-rate scenario using a simple differential pulse code modulation scheme with staggered quantizers. Using this scheme, we achieve operational rates within
of the theoretical lower bounds for varying description rates.
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