Operational rate-distortion performance for joint source and channel coding of images

Michael J. Ruf, James W. Modestino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


This paper describes a methodology for evaluating the operational rate-distortion behavior of combined source and channel coding schemes with particular application to images. In particular, we demonstrate use of the operational rate-distortion function to obtain the optimum tradeoff between source coding accuracy and channel error protection under the constraint of a fixed transmission bandwidth for the investigated transmission schemes. Furthermore, we develop information-theoretic bounds on performance for specific source and channel coding systems and demonstrate that our combined source-channel coding methodology applied to different schemes results in operational rate-distortion performance which closely approach these theoretical limits. We concentrate specifically on a wavelet-based subband source coding scheme and the use of binary rate-compatible punctured convolutional (RCPC) codes for transmission over the additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channel. Explicit results for real-world images demonstrate the efficacy of this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-320
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Channel coding
  • Communication channels
  • Image coding
  • Image communication
  • Information rates
  • Source coding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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