ENHANCED MULTIPLE DESCRIPTION DECODER FOR ERROR-PRONE CHANNELS Rui Ma and Fabrice Labeau Centre of Advanced Systems

& Technologies in Communications (SYTACom) McGill University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Montreal, QC, Canada rui.ma@mail.mcgill.ca, fabrice.labeau@mcgill.ca
ABSTRACT Multiple description coding (MDC) is applied to achieve acceptable performance when only one single description is received correctly, and better resolution of the source when all descriptions are received correctly. In previous work, the description with bit errors is either discarded completely, or estimated by using complicated algorithms. A new central receiver is proposed in this paper so as to achieve better performance by utilizing the residual information between descriptions received correctly or with noise. After theoretical analysis based on MDSQ, optimal and suboptimal solutions are provided. Analytical and experimental results show that the proposed algorithms achieve better performance than the side distortion within a large range of BERs. In particular, the suboptimal algorithm achieves similar performance to that of the optimal with low computational complexity and without accurate channel knowledge. Index Terms— Image communication, error analysis, quantization. 1. INTRODUCTION In MDC system as illustrated in Fig. 1, acceptable performance can be achieved by receiving only one description, and finer resolution with more descriptions. MDC has been exploited (e.g. [1]) to transmit images in the presence of channel failure or packet loss. In the classical MDC systems, all channels are assumed as on/off, i.e., data is either received correctly or lost completely [2]-[5]. In order to combat channel failure, multiple description scalar quantizers (MDSQ) were developed to decompose source data into two or more descriptions in [2][3]. Discarding error descriptions or packets [2][3], nevertheless, results in significant degradation in the sense of rate-distortion performance, because there is a large gap between the central distortion and the side distortion. The author of [4] developed an algorithm to allocate index pairs so as to minimize the overall distortion in the presence of packet loss. In [5], an extended multiple-channel optimized quantizer design (MCOQD) was applied to compensate the distortion introduced by symbol erasures. However, if the actual channel conditions, such as packet loss rate, symbol error probability and erasure probability, were mismatching to those at the design stage, the performance of [4][5] degraded much, even worse than that of [2]. In wireless communications, the data obtained by the receivers suffers bit errors as the result of noisy channels. With the aide of index mapping, the authors of [6] decoded received bit flow over error-prone channels. The outputs of non-existing index pairs were replaced by the mean of the source data. In [7], a Bayesian network was applied to decode the received data through noisy channels by
Multiple Description Encoder

Channel 1

Side Receiver 1

Source

Central Receiver 0

User

Channel 2

Side Receiver 2

Fig. 1. An MDC system with two channels and three receivers.

using the dependency among assigned indices of MDSQ and variable length coding. In IP networks, source data is encapsulated into packets to transmit. By simple checksum, the errors of a packet can be detected. In wireless and real-time communications, short packets are preferred because of short delay and low sensitivity to noisy channel. Thus, it is possible that one packet of a pair, which are from two descriptions respectively, is incorrect, but another is correct. In this case, there is still much useful information left in the received, but incorrect, packets. Without fully exploiting correct packets and useful information existing in the error packets, the approaches developed in [6][7] are ineffective and complicated. With the help of correct packets and the residual information in error packets, we propose a central receiver to achieve higher error tolerance and lower distortion than the existing central receivers. Based on theoretical analysis, analytical and experimental results show that the resulting distortion gracefully degrades from the central distortion to the side distortion as BER increases. Meanwhile, optimal and, especially, suboptimal algorithms are simple and do not require much knowledge about the channels. In this paper, a new model of central receiver is described, then theoretically analyzed based on MDSQ. Optimal and suboptimal approaches are developed to minimize the distortion introduced by errors. Finally, analytical and experimental results indicate significant improvements compared with previous methods. 2. PROPOSED RECEIVER MODEL In order to utilize residual information of the corrupted description, we propose a new central receiver illustrated in Fig. 2 for MDC. Here we assume that one channel (Description 2) suffers noise that results in bit errors; meanwhile, another description is received correctly. By referring to the corresponding Description 1, errors in Description 2 are detected and, then, the outputs are estimated. MDSQ is used as an example to justify this proposed central re-

Description 2 Error Detector

description is received, the corresponding output x is eˆ or eˆ . ˆ i j In the case of a correct reception of two descriptions, the reproduced value is thus x = ea−1 (a(1) (q(x)),a(2) (q(x))) . ˆ The MSE between two real values is denoted by d(·, ·); we also
Central Decoder User

(1)

(2)

Estimator

Description 1

denote the set of possible indices i as I = {i ∈ N : ∃l ∈ N , j ∈ N : a(l) = (i, j)}, and the set of all possible indices j as J = {j ∈ N : ∃l ∈ N , i ∈ N : a(l) = (i, j)}. For a given i ∈ I, we also ¯ △ define the set Ji = {j ∈ J : ∃l ∈ N : a(l) = (i, j)}, which is the set of values of the second index j that does not lead to a possible (i, j) pair in the index mapping matrix. For example, in Fig. 3(a), at ¯ the second row or column, J2 = {4, 5, 6, 7, 8}. We consider two types of transmission errors: those that our error detector can detect, and those that remain undetectable. The overall distortion caused by transmission errors, De , is given by De = Du + Dd , (1)
È È

Fig. 2. Architecture of the proposed central receiver.
column ( j ) 4 5 6 column ( j ) 4 5 6

1 1 2 1 2

2 3 4 6

3

7

8 1

1 1 2 4

2 3 6 7 9

3 5 8

7

8

5

2

10 12 16 18 20 14 17 21 22 24 19 23 26 27 29 25 28 31 33 30 32 34

row ( i )

4 5 6 7 8

8

10 12

11 13 14 15 16 18 17 19 20 21 22

row ( i )

3

7

9

3 4 5 6 7 8

11 13 15

(a)

(b)

Fig. 3. (a) MN(3, 1, 22) (b) MN(3, 2, 34).

l∈N Pq (l)De (l), Du = l∈N Pq (l)Du (l), Dd = Pq (l)Dd (l). Pq (l) = P {x ∈ vl } is the probability of the l∈N source falling in cell l, De (l), Du (l) and Dd (l) are the expected distortion from the source in cell l due respectively to all, undetectable and detectable transmission errors. A transmission error can be de¯ tected as long as ˆ ∈ Jˆ. j i The overall average distortion caused by quantization (i.e. without transmission errors) is given by

where De = È

ceiver. In index assignment (IA) of MDSQ, redundancy is involved when decomposing a scalar quantization index into two indices. As illustrated in Fig. 3, we use the modified nested (MN) IA [2] as the example of IA in MDSQ. In MN IA, in order to encode the source at b bits/source sample (bpss) on each channel, N index pairs are selected from the main diagonal and the 2k diagonals closet to the main diagonals of a 2b × 2b IA matrix. Then each MN implementation is defined by (b, k, N ). In Fig. 3(a), index 1 is decomposed into (1, 1), and 2 as (2, 1). At the same time, many combinations are still not occupied, such as (1, 3). We exploit this property to detect errors. For example, if (1, 3) is received under the assumption that Description 1 is right and Description 2 incurs some errors, 3 is determined as an error. Then we choose the most probable output value by using the methods developed in the next section to minimize the extra distortion caused by errors. 3. ERROR ESTIMATION We consider real-valued data samples x ∈ R, that are encoded to an index l through the quantizer function q(x) = l. There are N possible quantizer output indices l, and we will denote by N the set of these indices. The corresponding codewords or reproduction levels are denoted by cl , and they are chosen here as the centroids of the corresponding quantization cell vl : cl = v xfX (x)dx, where l fX (x) is the probability density function (pdf) of the source. These indices l ∈ N are then mapped to a pair of indices (i, j) through an index mapping operator a(·). Referring to Fig. 3, the indices l appear in the matrix, whereas i and j are the row and column numbers, respectively. We will refer to the two components of the mapping as i = a(1) (l) and j = a(2) (l). Finally, the inverse mapping, which can be deduced, e.g., from Fig. 3, is denoted by l = a−1 (i, j). We also (1) denote the centroids of the quantizers in each description as ci and (2) cj . The received indices are denoted by ˆ and ˆ the corresponding i j; output x is the reproduction level is ea−1 (ˆ ˆ , not necessarily the ˆ i,j) same as the quantizer reproduction level ca−1 (ˆ ˆ ; when only one i,j)

Dq =
l∈N

Pq (l)Dq (l),

where again Dq (l) = v (x − cl )2 fX (x)dx is the distortion contril bution form cell l. Our goal is now to find the best possible reconstruction levels eˆ, l (1) (2) eˆ or eˆ in order to minimize the overall distortion. i j 3.1. Optimal Solution Assuming high-rate quantization, the overall distortion contribution of cell l, is given by
Ê

Ê

D(l)

= = =

vl

fX (x)d(x, x)dx ˆ
Ê
vl

fX (x)dx

fX (cl )

Ê

vl

d(x, x)dx ˆ

fX (cl )∆l (x − cl + cl − x)2 dx ˆ
vl

1 ∆l

(x − x)2 dx = ˆ
vl

1 ∆l

∆2 l + (cl − x)2 = Dq (l) + De (l), ˆ 12
Ê
∆2

(2)

Ê

l where ∆l = v dx, and Dq (l) ≈ 12 in high-rate system. Then, l the overall average distortion D is given by

D

=
l∈N

Pq (l)D(l) =
l∈N

Pq (l) [Dq (l) + De (l)] (3)

=

Dq + De .

When an index pair (i, j) is transmitted, the corresponding received pair is (ˆ ˆ For a transmission error, we assume without i, j). losing generality that only Description 1 is received correctly, i.e., ˆ = i and ˆ = j. The distortion caused by undetected errors, Du (l), i j at the cell l, is given by: Du (l) =
ˆ j

Peu (ˆ d ca−1 (i,j) , ca−1 (i,ˆ , j|j) j)

(4)

where a(l) = (i, j), Pe (ˆ = P {ˆ : ˆ = j}, ˆ ∈ J , j ∈ J . For j|j) j j j a given BER p, Pe (ˆ of an n-bit symbol ˆ is given by j|j) j Pe (ˆ = pt (1 − p)n−t , j|j) (5)

0

−5 Description 2 is corrupted

Dd (l) =
ˆ j

ˆ Pe (ˆ d ca−1 (i,j) , x , j|j)

 

¡

(6)

MSE (dB)

where t is the number of different bits between j ∈ J and ˆ ∈ J . j The distortion caused by detectable errors, Dd (l), at the cell l, is given by:

−10

−15 Description 1 is corrupted

d

0

¯ where a(l) = (i, j), Pe (ˆ = P {ˆ : ˆ = j}, ˆ ∈ Ji , j ∈ J . j|j) j j j (1) (1) When we use eˆ , i.e., ei , to estimate x in (6), the resulting avˆ i erage distortion Dd (i) that corresponds to index i of Description 1 is given by Dd (i)
(1) (1)

−20

side distortion mean optimal suboptimal theory optimal theory suboptimal

−25

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

=
j∈J

Pq a−1 (i, j) Dd a−1 (i, j) Pq a
j∈J

   

¡ ¡

 

¡

BER (%)

Fig. 4. Performance of MN(3, 1, 22) with separate errors.
(1) Ped (ˆ d ca−1 (i,j) , ei j|j) . ˆ Ji j∈ ¯

=

−1

(i, j)

(7) Thus, Dd = i∈I Dd (i). In order to minimize the overall distortion D at the receiver end, we have to minimize Dd , because Dq has been optimized when encoding, and Du is undetectable. We make use of (7) to optimize Dd . By solving
(1) dDd (i) dei
(1) (1)

È

(1)

= 0, the optimal solution is
È
ˆ Ji j∈ ¯ j∈J

È

eopt (i) =

j∈J

È

È

j|j) Pq a−1 (i, j) Ped (ˆ ca−1 (i,j) . (8) −1 (i, j)) P (ˆ ed j|j) ˆ ¯ Pq (a
j∈Ji

 

¡

¯ If Ped (j1 |j) ≈ Ped (j2 |j), j1 = j2 , and j1 , j2 ∈ Ji , according to (8),
È
(1) esub (i)

≈ =

j∈J

È

Pq a−1 (i, j) ca−1 (i,j)
j∈J

 

¡

Pq (a−1 (i, j)) (9)

ci .

(1)

3.2. Proposed Estimation Methods In previous work, the outputs of error or non-existing index pairs are substituted by the mean of the source data [6]. In terms of (8) and (9), we propose two methods to estimate the outputs of error index pairs in order to decrease Dd , respectively: 1. Optimal: Assuming that the a-priori source probabilities Pq (l)   ¡ or Pq a−1 (i, j) are known at the receiver end, the output values of the error index pairs are calculated as (8). 2. Suboptimal: In the light of (9), the output values of the error (1) index pairs are replaced by ci . 4. ANALYTICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS 4.1. Combating separate bit errors 40000 zero-mean unit variance Gaussian random variables are used as source data. Bit errors are uniformly distributed throughout the source binary sequence. MN(3, 1, 22) and (3, 2, 34) are applied. Analytical and experimental results are shown in Figs. 4 and 5. The

estimation method by using the mean of the source data is called mean in the figures. The central and side distortions are shown as references, where the side distortion illustrated is the average of the side distortions achieved by two descriptions. These two figures indicate that the proposed algorithms can achieve much better error tolerance than mean. The results of optimal and suboptimal are very similar. Because the transmission behaviours of two descriptions are not exactly identical, two groups of curves are plotted according to which description is corrupted, Description 1 and 2. In both cases, the performance of the proposed algorithms degrades gracefully to the side distortion. In Fig. 4, the distortion of mean reaches the side distortion at BER 2.95%. In contrast, when Description 1 is corrupted, the distortion of the proposed receiver degrades to the side distortion at BER 35.5%; when Description 2 is corrupted, the side distoriton is achieved at BER 16.5%. Likely, in Fig. 5, the side distortion is obtained at 8.25%, 22.9%, and 17% corresponding to mean, corrupted Description 1 and corrupted Description 2, respectively. Comparing the results of MN(3, 1, 22) and (3, 2, 34), it can be concluded that with less redundancy, the performance of error tolerance becomes lower. Overall, the proposed reciever with both methods can achieve graceful degradation as BER increases. Because of more and more undetectable errors, the overall distortion finally becomes worse than the side distortion beyond a certain BER. 4.2. Extension to burst errors In this part, we consider the situation with burst bit errors. The burst bit errors are the results of either continuous transmission errors, or mis-synchronization of entropy coding such as arithmetic coding. In the experiments, we still use the same parameters as Section 4.1. BERs, however, represent the ratio of the length of burst bit errors to the length of the whole binary data sequence. The experimental results are shown in Figs. 6 and 7. In this case, the behaviours of two descriptions are identical, so only one group of curves is plotted. It suggests that both methods developed can highly tolerate burst errors. Even at BER 50%, the distortions of the new receiver are still lower than the side distortion; whereas, curves of mean touch the side distortion at about 7% and 15%. The achieved performance is not as sensitive to the corrupted description and BER as those shown in Section 4.1, because most errors are detected and then estimated. That is to say, this circumstance

0 Description 2 is corrupted −5

0

−5

−10 d −15 Descripton 1 is corrupted

−10

MSE (dB)

−20

side distortion mean optimal suboptimal theory optimal theory suboptimal

MSE (dB)

0

−15 d0 d1 mean optimal suboptimal theory opt theory subopt

−20

−25

−25

−30

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

−30

0

5

10

15

20

25 BER (%)

30

35

40

45

50

BER (%)

Fig. 5. Performance of MN(3, 2, 34) with separate errors.
−2 −4 −6 −8 −10 MSE (dB) −12 −14 −16 −18 −20 −22 d0 d1 mean optimal suboptimal theory opt theory subopt

Fig. 7. Performance of MN(3, 2, 34) with burst errors.

From the results of experiments and theoretical analyses, both methods show smaller distortion than the side distortion within a range of BERs. Especially, the suboptimal method achieves good performance with low computational complexity. More redundancy in multiple descriptions brings about higher degree of error tolerance. Combining with simple estimation approaches, the new central receiver achieves impressive improvements by more effectively exploiting redundancy inherent in multiple descriptions. As future work, we will extend to the cases, in which both descriptions may contain bit errors. In addition, inter-symbol correlation within source data will be utilized to develop IA methods, so that more errors can be detected. 6. REFERENCES

0

5

10

15

20

25 BER (%)

30

35

40

45

50

Fig. 6. Performance of MN(3, 1, 22) with burst errors.

[1] S. D. Servetto, K. Ramchandran, V. A. Vaishampayan, and K. Nahrstedt, “Multiple description wavelet based image coding,” IEEE Trans. Image Processing, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 813–826, May 2000. [2] V. A. Vaishampayan, “Design of multiple description scalar quantizers,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 821–834, May 1993. [3] T. Y. Berger-Wolf and E. M. Reingold, “Index assignment for multichannel communication under failure,” IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory, vol. 48, no. 10, pp. 2656–2668, Oct. 2002. [4] P. Yahampath, “On index assignment and the design of multiple description quantizers,” in Proc. ICASSP’04, 17-21 May 2004, vol. 4, pp. iv–597 – iv–600. [5] Y. Zhou and W.-Y. Chan, “Multiple description quantizer design using a channel optimized quantizer approach,” in Proc. CISS’04, 2004. [6] J. Barros, J. Hagenauer, and N. Gortz, “Turbo cross decoding of multiple descriptions,” in Proc. ICC’02, 2002, pp. 1398–1402. [7] T. Guionnet, C. Guillemot, and E. Fabre, “Soft decoding of multiple descriptions,” in Proc. ICME’02, Aug. 2002, vol. 2, pp. 601–604.

can be seen as ideal, where the distortion introduced by undetectable errors is minimized. For purposes of comparison, D is calculated on (3) and plotted as theoretical curve, where assuming Du = 0, then D = Dq + Dd . In Fig. 6, the experimental and analytical results are very close because of high redundancy. It indicates that if a certain means of IA can make most errors detected, the resulting error tolerance could be very high. Since the optimal solution is obtained based on the knowledge of channels, i.e., BER, the incorrect BER affects the accuracy of this solution. In the above results, the suboptimal solutions show very similar performance with the optimal. Therefore, the suboptimal approach can be widely used with low computational complexity and without accurate channel knowledge . 5. CONCLUSION In error-prone environment, instead of discarding the description with errors, we utilize the residual information in the corrupted description to achieve lower distortion than one single description does. We proposed two simple methods to estimate the detectable errors.

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