A Second-Order Converse Bound for the Multiple-Access Channel via Wringing Dependence

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3 Scopus citations


A new converse bound is presented for the two-user multiple-access channel under the average probability of error constraint. This bound shows that for most channels of interest, the second-order coding rate - that is, the difference between the best achievable rates and the asymptotic capacity region as a function of blocklength n with fixed probability of error - is O(1/√n) bits per channel use. The principal tool behind this converse proof is a new measure of dependence between two random variables called wringing dependence, as it is inspired by Ahlswede's wringing technique. The O(1/√n) gap is shown to hold for any channel satisfying certain regularity conditions, which includes all discrete-memoryless channels and the Gaussian multiple-access channel. Exact upper bounds as a function of the probability of error are proved for the coefficient in the O(1/√n) term, although for most channels they do not match existing achievable bounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3552-3584
Number of pages33
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Multiple-access channel
  • dependence measures
  • dispersion
  • second-order
  • wringing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications


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