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Optimal Feedback Communication Via Posterior Matching

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2 Author(s)
Shayevitz, O. ; Inf. Theor. & Applic. Center, Univ. of California, San Diego, CA, USA ; Feder, M.

In this paper, we introduce a fundamental principle for optimal communication over general memoryless channels in the presence of noiseless feedback, termed posterior matching. Using this principle, we devise a (simple, sequential) generic feedback transmission scheme suitable for a large class of memoryless channels and input distributions, achieving any rate below the corresponding mutual information. This provides a unified framework for optimal feedback communication in which the Horstein scheme (BSC) and the Schalkwijk-Kailath scheme (AWGN channel) are special cases. Thus, as a corollary, we prove that the Horstein scheme indeed attains the BSC capacity, settling a longstanding conjecture. We further provide closed form expressions for the error probability of the scheme over a range of rates, and derive the achievable rates in a mismatch setting where the scheme is designed according to the wrong channel model. Several illustrative examples of the posterior matching scheme for specific channels are given, and the corresponding error probability expressions are evaluated. The proof techniques employed utilize novel relations between information rates and contraction properties of iterated function systems.

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Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 3 )