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Sparse data models, where data is assumed to be well represented as a linear combination of a few elements from a dictionary, have gained considerable attention in recent years, and their use has led to state-of-the-art results in many signal and image processing tasks. It is now well understood that the choice of the sparsity regularization term is critical in the success of such models. In this work, we use tools from information theory to propose a sparsity regularization term which has several theoretical and practical advantages over the more standard Â¿0 or Â¿1 ones, and which leads to improved coding performance and accuracy in reconstruction tasks. We also briefly report on further improvements obtained by imposing low mutual coherence and Gram matrix norm on the learned dictionaries.