A Rate-Distortion Approach to Caching

Roy Timo, Shirin Saeedi Bidokhti, Michele Wigger, Bernhard Geiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we consider a lossy single-user caching problem with correlated sources. We first describe the fundamental interplay between the source correlations, the capacity of the user's cache, the user's reconstruction distortion requirements, and the final delivery-phase (compression) rate. We then illustrate this interplay using a multivariate Gaussian source example and a binary symmetric source example. To fully explore the effect of the user's distortion requirements, we formulate the caching problem using f-separable distortion functions recently introduce by Shkel and Verdú. The class of f-separable distortion functions includes separable distortion functions as a special case, and our analysis covers both the expected- and excess-distortion settings in detail. We also determine what “common information” should be placed in the cache, and what information should be transmitted during the delivery phase. To this end, two new common-information measures are introduced for caching, and their relationship to the common-information measures of Wyner, Gács, and Körner is discussed in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1957-1976
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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