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Variable length codes (VLCs), used in data compression, are very sensitive to error propagation in the presence of noisy channels. To address this problem, several joint source channel turbo techniques have been proposed in the literature. In this paper, we focus on pairs of source/VLC of low redundancy, i.e., when there is a good match between the source statistics and the length distribution of the VLC. It is a case not considered extensively in the literature so far and the classical concatenation of a VLC and a convolutional code is not satisfying. Through EXIT chart and interleaving gain analysis, we show that the introduction of a repetition code between the VLC and the convolutional code considerably improves global performance. In particular, excellent symbol error rates are obtained with reversible VLCs which are used in recent source codecs.
Date of Publication: November 2008