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IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing

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Abstract 

Real-time data delivery over best-effort error-prone packet networks has invigorated the study of robust coding schemes, such as scalable multiple description coding (SMDC). In this context, the paper introduces a novel generic symmetric scalable multiple description quantizer (SSMDSQ) which generates perfectly balanced source descriptions. Novel embedded index assignments are proposed which are used to realize high, as well as medium-to-low redundancy SSMDSQs. Compared to existing designs, it is shown that the proposed quantizer constructions exhibit superior distortion-rate (D-R) performance. Moreover, this paper describes an innovative extension of the Lloyd-Max algorithm in order to optimize symmetric and asymmetric scalable multiple description quantizers. For a family of Generalized Gaussian (GG) source distributions, the proposed optimization algorithm yields on average a significant D-R performance gain over un-optimized quantizers. Furthermore, anchored in the designed SSMDSQs, an SMDC framework is established to realize packet-based transmission over erasure channels. In this framework, transmission strategies are determined for scenarios wherein the average packet loss rate over the transmission link is (a) unknown and (b) can be estimated at the encoder. For both scenarios, SMDC packetized transmission is simulated for a family of GG distributions. Experimental results confirm that, compared to contemporary schemes, the designed quantizer constructions (with or without optimization) account for a significant average gain in signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) for a wide range of packet loss rates.

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