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Source codes as random number generators

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3 Author(s)
Visweswariah, K. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Princeton Univ., NJ, USA ; Kulkarni, S.R. ; Verdú, S.

A random number generator generates fair coin flips by processing deterministically an arbitrary source of nonideal randomness. An optimal random number generator generates asymptotically fair coin flips from a stationary ergodic source at a rate of bits per source symbol equal to the entropy rate of the source. Since optimal noiseless data compression codes produce incompressible outputs, it is natural to investigate their capabilities as optimal random number generators. We show under general conditions that optimal variable-length source codes asymptotically achieve optimal variable-length random bit generation in a rather strong sense. In particular, we show in what sense the Lempel-Ziv (1978) algorithm can be considered an optimal universal random bit generator from arbitrary stationary ergodic random sources with unknown distributions

Published in:

Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 1998

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