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Universal Lossless Compression With Unknown Alphabets—The Average Case

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1 Author(s)
Shamir, G.I. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Utah Univ., Salt Lake City, UT

Universal compression of patterns of sequences generated by independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) sources with unknown, possibly large, alphabets is investigated. A pattern is a sequence of indices that contains all consecutive indices in increasing order of first occurrence. If the alphabet of a source that generated a sequence is unknown, the inevitable cost of coding the unknown alphabet symbols can be exploited to create the pattern of the sequence. This pattern can in turn be compressed by itself. It is shown that if the alphabet size k is essentially small, then the average minimax and maximin redundancies as well as the redundancy of every code for almost every source, when compressing a pattern, consist of at least 0.5log(n/k3) bits per each unknown probability parameter, and if all alphabet letters are likely to occur, there exist codes whose redundancy is at most 0.5log(n/k2) bits per each unknown probability parameter, where n is the length of the data sequences. Otherwise, if the alphabet is large, these redundancies are essentially at least Theta(n-2/3 ) bits per symbol, and there exist codes that achieve redundancy of O(n-1/2) bits per symbol. Two suboptimal low-complexity sequential algorithms for compression of patterns are presented and their description lengths analyzed, also pointing out that the pattern average universal description length can decrease below the underlying i.i.d. entropy for large enough alphabets

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Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:52 ,  Issue: 11 )