Information Theory and Source Coding

Lecturer: Dr.-Ing. Christiane Antweiler

Contact:Sebastian Nagel

Type: Master CE lecture

Credits: 2

RWTHonline Lecture
RWTHonline Exercise
RWTHmoodle Learning room
(Registration via RWTHonline)

Course language: English

All scripts and auxiliary sheets will be available for download at the RWTHmoodle learning room.

The lecture "Information Theory and Source Coding" was a compulsory course for the expired international master programm "Communications Engineering". The lecture is not offered any more, however, students can still register for the oral exam.


This one-semester course originally was part of the Master Programme Communications Engineering at RWTH. The lecture contents are basically organized in two blocks: On the one hand, the basics of Information Theory are introduced and applied to the field of data encoding. The theory comprises the following elements, accompanied by numerous examples:

  • Discrete memoryless sources and sources with memory
  • entropy, conditional entropy, and mutual information
  • entropy coding (Shannon code, Fano code, Huffman code, Facsimile)
  • and the performance limits of data compression

The second block extends Information Theory and establishes the principles of speech signal encoding. Eventually, the lecture leads to an overview of the state-of-the-art of speech coding technology and its applications, as for example mobile radio. The following topics are discussed in particular:

  • Continuous (analog) sources with memory
  • sampling and quantization of analog signals
  • introduction to rate-distortion theory
  • linear prediction theory and differential waveform coding
  • and an overview about the standards and applications of speech coding

The lecture is supported by weekly exercises. If the described course on "Information Theory and Source Coding" is combined with the course on "Forward Error Correction and Digital Modulation" (summer term), a comprehensive understanding of digital communication systems can be achieved.


The results of the evaluation of the last years are summarized below.

Winter term 2016/2017

Participants of the evaluation: 20
Global grade: 1.6
Concept of the lecture: 1.6
Instruction and behaviour: 1.6

Participants of the evaluation: 19
Global grade: 1.5
Concept of the exercise: 1.4
Instruction and behaviour: 1.5