Delta-Ramp Encoder for Amplitude Sampling and Its Interpretation as Time Encoding

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Delta-Ramp Encoder for Amplitude Sampling and Its Interpretation as Time Encoding

By: 
Pablo Martínez-Nuevo; Hsin-Yu Lai; Alan V. Oppenheim

The theoretical basis for conventional acquisition of bandlimited signals typically relies on uniform time sampling and assumes infinite-precision amplitude values. In this paper, we explore signal representation and recovery based on uniform amplitude sampling with assumed infinite precision timing information. The approach is based on the delta-ramp encoder which consists of applying a one-level level-crossing detector to the result of adding an appropriate sawtooth-like waveform to the input signal. The output samples are the time instants of these level crossings, thus representing a time-encoded version of the input signal. For theoretical purposes, this system can be equivalently analyzed by reversibly transforming through ramp addition a nonmonotonic input signal into a monotonic one, which is then uniformly sampled in amplitude. The monotonic function is then represented by the times at which the signal crosses a predefined and equally-spaced set of amplitude values. We refer to this technique as amplitude sampling. The time sequence generated can be interpreted alternatively as nonuniform time sampling of the original source signal. We derive duality and frequency-domain properties for the functions involved in the transformation. Iterative algorithms are proposed and implemented for recovery of the original source signal. As indicated in the simulations, the proposed iterative amplitude-sampling algorithm achieves a faster convergence rate than frame-based reconstruction for nonuniform sampling. The performance can also be improved by appropriate choice of the parameters while maintaining the same sampling density.

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