The dispersion of lossy source coding

Amir Ingber*, Yuval Kochman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

57 Scopus citations


In this work we investigate the behavior of the minimal rate needed in order to guarantee a given probability that the distortion exceeds a prescribed threshold, at some fixed finite quantization block length. We show that the excess coding rate above the rate-distortion function is inversely proportional (to the first order) to the square root of the block length. We give an explicit expression for the proportion constant, which is given by the inverse Q-function of the allowed excess distortion probability, times the square root of a constant, termed the excess distortion dispersion. This result is the dual of a corresponding channel coding result, where the dispersion above is the dual of the channel dispersion. The work treats discrete memoryless sources, as well as the quadratic-Gaussian case.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationProceedings - DCC 2011
Subtitle of host publication2011 Data Compression Conference
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event2011 Data Compression Conference, DCC 2011 - Snowbird, UT, United States
Duration: 29 Mar 201131 Mar 2011

Publication series

NameData Compression Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1068-0314


Conference2011 Data Compression Conference, DCC 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySnowbird, UT


  • Central limit theorem
  • Dispersion
  • Excess distortion exponent
  • Rate disortion


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