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Providing real-time multimedia applications over wireless multi-hop networks is a challenging problem because the wireless channels are highly sensitive to delay, interference and topology changes. Multiple description coding (MDC), as a new emerging error-resilient technique, has been widely used recently in wireless video transmission. Its fundamental principle is to generate multiple correlated descriptions such that each description approximates the source information with a certain level of fidelity. Inevitably, MDC introduces many description streams which may influence each other and thus, reasonable system scheduling is needed to provide a satisfied video quality. The novelty of this work is to investigate the optimal distributed scheduling for multiple competing MDC streams in a resource-limited wireless multi-hop network. This is achieved by joint optimization of MDC, rate control and multipath routing. Two joint optimal algorithms, namely a distributed rate control and routing (DRCR) and a simplified DRCR algorithm, are proposed to solve this problem with constraints that arise from the multiple description streams among multiple users via multiple paths. Both algorithms are designed in a distributed manner that is amenable to on-line implementation for wireless networks. Theoretical analysis and simulation results are provided which demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed joint schemes.