Conventional quantization distorts the probability density of the source. In scenarios such as low bit rate audio coding, this leads to perceived distortion that is not well characterized by commonly used distortion criteria. We propose the relative entropy between the probability densities of the original and reconstructed signals as an additional fidelity measure. Quantization with a constraint on relative entropy ensures that the probability density of the signal is preserved to a controllable extent. When it is included in an audio coder, the new quantization facilitates a continuous transition between the underlying concepts of the vocoder, the bandwidth extension, and a rate-distortion optimized coder. Experiments confirm the effectiveness of the new quantization scheme.
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