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It is well-known that optimal digital coding schemes based on the source-channel separation principle suffer from the "Threshold effect" that they are sensitive to the channel condition. If the channel condition is worse than what the code is designed for, it will fail to decode completely; on the other hand, if the channel condition is in fact better, a digital code can not provide any performance improvement. There exist more robust joint source-channel coding schemes in the paper which can achieve optimal performance for a given channel condition, and at the same time, either being useful when the channel condition is worse, or offering performance improvement when the channel condition is better, but not both.
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