The dispersion of Slepian-Wolf coding

Vincent Y.F. Tan, Oliver Kosut

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


We characterize second-order coding rates (or dispersions) for distributed lossless source coding (the Slepian-Wolf problem). We introduce a fundamental quantity known as the entropy dispersion matrix, which is analogous to scalar dispersion quantities. We show that if this matrix is positive-definite, the optimal rate region under the constraint of a fixed blocklength and non-zero error probability has a curved boundary compared to being polyhedral for the Slepian-Wolf case. In addition, the entropy dispersion matrix governs the rate of convergence of the non-asymptotic region to the asymptotic one. As a by-product of our analyses, we develop a general universal achievability procedure for dispersion analysis of some other network information theory problems such as the multiple-access channel. Numerical examples show how the region given by Gaussian approximations compares to the Slepian-Wolf region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory Proceedings, ISIT 2012
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Oct 22 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event2012 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, ISIT 2012 - Cambridge, MA, United States
Duration: Jul 1 2012Jul 6 2012

Publication series

NameIEEE International Symposium on Information Theory - Proceedings


Other2012 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, ISIT 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCambridge, MA


  • Dispersion
  • Second-order Rates
  • Slepian-Wolf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


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