Optimal Quantization for Piecewise Uniform Distributions

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Quantization for a probability distribution refers to the idea of estimating a given probability by a discrete probability supported by a finite number of points. In this paper, firstly a general approach to this process is outlined using independent random variables and ergodic maps; these give asymptotically the optimal sets of n-means and the nth quantization errors for all positive integers n. Secondly two piecewise uniform distributions are considered on R: one with infinite number of pieces and one with finite number of pieces. For these two probability measures, we describe the optimal sets of n-means and the nth quantization errors for all n ∈ N. It is seen that for a uniform distribution with infinite number of pieces to determine the optimal sets of n-means for n ≥ 2 one needs to know an optimal set of (n − 1)-means, but for a uniform distribution with finite number of pieces one can directly determine the optimal sets of n-means and the nth quantization errors for all n ∈ N.

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