Zero-rate feedback can achieve the empirical capacity

Krishnan Eswaran, Anand D. Sarwate, Anant Sahai, Michael C. Gastpar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


The utility of limited feedback for coding over an individual sequence of discrete memoryless channels is investigated. This study complements recent results shoWing how limited or noisy feedback can boost the reliability of communication. A strategy with fixed input distribution P is given that asymptotically achieves rates arbitrarily close to the mutual information induced by P and the state-averaged channel. When the capacity-achieving input distribution is the same over all channel states, this achieves rates at least as large as the capacity of the state-averaged channel, sometimes called the empirical capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5361486
Pages (from-to)25-39
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Arbitrarily varying channels
  • Common randomness
  • Feedback communication
  • Hybrid ARQ
  • Individual sequences
  • Rateless codes
  • Universal communication

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