Rate-Distortion-Perception Theory for Semantic Communication

Jingxuan Chai, Yong Xiao, Guangming Shi, Walid Saad
Computer Science, Information Theory, Information Theory (cs.IT), Artificial Intelligence (cs.AI), Networking and Internet Architecture (cs.NI)
2023-12-09 00:00:00
Semantic communication has attracted significant interest recently due to its capability to meet the fast growing demand on user-defined and human-oriented communication services such as holographic communications, eXtended reality (XR), and human-to-machine interactions. Unfortunately, recent study suggests that the traditional Shannon information theory, focusing mainly on delivering semantic-agnostic symbols, will not be sufficient to investigate the semantic-level perceptual quality of the recovered messages at the receiver. In this paper, we study the achievable data rate of semantic communication under the symbol distortion and semantic perception constraints. Motivated by the fact that the semantic information generally involves rich intrinsic knowledge that cannot always be directly observed by the encoder, we consider a semantic information source that can only be indirectly sensed by the encoder. Both encoder and decoder can access to various types of side information that may be closely related to the user's communication preference. We derive the achievable region that characterizes the tradeoff among the data rate, symbol distortion, and semantic perception, which is then theoretically proved to be achievable by a stochastic coding scheme. We derive a closed-form achievable rate for binary semantic information source under any given distortion and perception constraints. We observe that there exists cases that the receiver can directly infer the semantic information source satisfying certain distortion and perception constraints without requiring any data communication from the transmitter. Experimental results based on the image semantic source signal have been presented to verify our theoretical observations.
PDF: Rate-Distortion-Perception Theory for Semantic Communication.pdf
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