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Extending recent works on distributed source coding, this paper considers distributed source-channel coding and targets at the important application of scalable video transmission over wireless networks. The idea is to use a single channel code for both video compression (via Slepian-Wolf coding) and packet loss protection. First, we provide a theoretical code design framework for distributed joint source-channel coding over erasure channels and then apply it to the targeted video application. The resulting video coder is based on a cross-layer design where video compression and protection are performed jointly. We choose Raptor codes - the best approximation to a digital fountain - and address in detail both encoder and decoder designs. Using the received packets together with a correlated video available at the decoder as side information, we devise a new iterative soft-decision decoder for joint Raptor decoding. Simulation results show that, compared to one separate design using Slepian-Wolf compression plus erasure protection and another based on FGS coding plus erasure protection, the proposed joint design provides better video quality at the same number of transmitted packets. Our work represents the first in capitalizing the latest in distributed source coding and near-capacity channel coding for robust video transmission over erasure channels.
Date of Publication: May 2007