Robust communication via decentralized processing with unreliable backhaul links

Osvaldo Simeone, Oren Somekh, Elza Erkip, H. Vincent Poor, Shlomo Shamai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A source communicates with a remote destination via a number of distributed relays. Communication from source to relays takes place over a (discrete or Gaussian) broadcast channel, while the relays are connected to the receiver via orthogonal finite-capacity links. Unbeknownst to the source and relays, link failures may occur between any subset of relays and the destination in a nonergodic fashion. Upper and lower bounds are derived on average achievable rates with respect to the prior distribution of the link failures, assuming the relays to be oblivious to the source codebook. The lower bounds are obtained by proposing strategies that combine the broadcast coding approach, previously investigated for quasi-static fading channels, and different robust distributed compression techniques. Numerical results show that lower and upper bounds are quite close over most operating regimes, and provide insight into optimal transmission design choices for the scenario at hand. Extension to the case of nonoblivious relays is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5895092
Pages (from-to)4187-4201
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


  • Broadcast coding
  • distributed source coding
  • erasure channel
  • relay channel
  • robust channel coding


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