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Neural Joint Source-Channel Coding

This repo contains a reference implementation for NECST as described in the paper:

Neural Joint-Source Channel Coding
Kristy Choi, Kedar Tatwawadi, Aditya Grover, Tsachy Weissman, Stefano Ermon
International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2019.


The codebase is implemented in Python 3.6 and Tensorflow. To install the necessary dependencies, run:

pip3 install -r requirements.txt


A set of scripts for data pre-processing are included in the directory ./data_setup. Relevant files for The NECST model operates over Tensorflow TFRecords. A few points to note:

  1. Raw data files for MNIST and BinaryMNIST can be downloaded using data_setup/ CelebA files can be downloaded using data_setup/ CIFAR10 can be downloaded (with tfrecords automatically generated) using data_setup/ All other data files (Omniglot, SVHN) must be downloaded separately.
  2. Omniglot and CelebA should be converted into .hdf5 format using data_setup/ and data_setup/ respectively.
  3. Random {0,1} bits can be generated using data_setup/
  4. After this step, tfrecords must be generated using: data_setup/ before running the model.


Training the NECST model takes a set of command line arguments in the script. The most relevant ones are listed below:

--datasource (STRING):    one of [mnist, BinaryMNIST, random, omniglot, celebA, svhn, cifar10]
--is_binary (BOOL):       whether or not the data is binary {0,1}, e.g. BinaryMNIST
--vimco_samples (INT):    number of samples to use for VIMCO
--channel_model (STRING): BSC/BEC
--noise (FLOAT):          channel noise level during training
--test_noise (FLOAT):     channel noise level at TEST time
--n_epochs (INT):         number of training epochs
--batch_size (INT):       size of minibatch
--lr (FLOAT):             learning rate of optimizer
--optimizer (STRING):     one of [adam, sgd]
--dech_arch (STRING):     comma-separated decoder architecture
--enc_arch (STRING):      comma-separated encoder architecture
--reg_param (FLOAT):      regularization for encoder architecture


Download and Train a 100-bit NECST model with BSC noise = 0.1 on BinaryMNIST:

# Download the BinaryMNIST dataset
python3 data_setup/ BinaryMNIST

# Generate a tfrecords file corresponding to the dataset
python3 data_setup/ --dataset=BinaryMNIST

# Train the model
python3 --datadir=./data --datasource=BinaryMNIST --channel_model=bsc --noise=0.1 --test_noise=0.1 --n_bits=100 --is_binary=True

Training a 1000-bit NECST model with BSC noise = 0.2 on CelebA:

python3 --datadir=./data --datasource=celebA --channel_model=bsc --noise=0.2 --test_noise=0.2 --n_bits=1000


If you find NECST useful in your research, please consider citing the following paper:

  title={Neural Joint Source-Channel Coding},
  author={Choi, Kristy and Tatwawadi, Kedar and Grover, Aditya and Weissman, Tsachy and Ermon, Stefano},
  journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:1811.07557},


Neural Joint-Source Channel Coding



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