Multiple description (MD) source coding has recently emerged as an attractive framework for robust multimedia transmission over unreliable channels, such as the Internet and the wireless medium. The basic idea in MD coding is to generate multiple descriptions of the source, such that each description independently describes the source with a certain fidelity, and when more than one description is available, they can be synergistically combined to enhance the quality.
In this work, we present new achievable rate regions and code constructions for the symmetric n-channel multiple descriptions (MD) coding problem for n>2. Our approach is inspired by unexplored connections between MD and the problem of distributed source coding.
We describe the underlying information-theoretic framework, and then formulate practical code constructions based on scalar/vector quantizers and linear channel codes to emulate the information theoretic performance.