Minimum Cost Distributed Source Coding Over a Network

Aditya Ramamoorthy, Iowa State University

This is a manuscript of an article from IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 57 (2011): 461, doi: 10.1109/TIT.2010.2090196. Posted with permission.


This work considers the problem of transmitting multiple compressible sources over a network at minimum cost. The aim is to find the optimal rates at which the sources should be compressed and the network flows using which they should be transmitted so that the cost of the transmission is minimal. We consider networks with capacity constraints and linear cost functions. The problem is complicated by the fact that the description of the feasible rate region of distributed source coding problems typically has a number of constraints that is exponential in the number of sources. This renders general purpose solvers inefficient. We present a framework in which these problems can be solved efficiently by exploiting the structure of the feasible rate regions coupled with dual decomposition and optimization techniques such as the subgradient method and the proximal bundle method.