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Variable-Rate Channel Capacity

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2 Author(s)
Sergio Verdu ; Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA ; Shlomo Shamai

This paper introduces the notions of variable-to-fixed and fixed-to-variable channel capacity, without feedback. For channels that satisfy the strong converse, these notions coincide with the conventional Shannon capacity. For channels that do not behave ergodically, the conventional fixed-rate Shannon capacity only depends on least-favorable channel conditions, while the variable-rate capacity notions are able to capture the whole range of channel states and their likelihood, even in the absence of any side information about channel state at the transmitter. Particular emphasis is placed on memoryless channels that are governed by finitely valued states. We show that (single-user) variable-to-fixed channel capacity is intimately connected to the capacity region of broadcast channels with degraded message sets, and we give an expression for the fixed-to-variable capacity.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 6 )