How should we code in multicast to diverse users and what for?

Emina Soljanin
Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Bell Labs
Date: April 4th, 2014


With the rapid increase in multicast download applications, we see more and more proposals for packet level, erasure-channel, coding. Raptor codes (to be deployed in LTE eMBMS) and random linear network codes are, in a certain sense, essentially optimal for multicast when all receivers require identical quality of content. This is not the case in more realistic scenarios when some of the users adjust their demands according to e.g., their screen sizes or (un)favorable channel conditions. We study serving multicast users with individual content quality (cf. distortion) requirements over statistically different erasure channels. We explore appropriate performance metrics and performance bounds, and also discuss and propose practical schemes to address this multifaceted, multi-user, lossy, source-channel coding problem.


Emina Soljanin received the PhD and MS degrees from Texas A&M University, College Station, in 1989 and 1994, and the European Diploma degree from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 1986, all in Electrical Engineering. From 1986 to 1988, she worked in the Energoinvest Company, Bosnia, developing optimization algorithms and software for power systems control. After graduating from Texas A&M, she joined Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ, where she is now a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the Mathematics of Networks research department. Dr. Soljanin's research interests are in the broad area of coding and information theory, and their applications. In the course of her twenty year employment with Bell Labs, she has participated in a very wide range of research and business projects, including the first distance enhancing codes to be implemented in commercial magnetic storage devices, the first forward error correction for Bell Labs optical transmission devices, color space quantization and color image processing, quantum computation, and link error prediction methods for hybrid ARQ wireless network standards. Her most recent activities are in the area of network and rateless coding for data transmission and storage.