Groupcast Index Coding Problem: Joint Extensions

Chinmayananda Arunachala, B. Sundar Rajan

The groupcast index coding problem is the most general version of the classical index coding problem, where any receiver can demand messages that are also demanded by other receivers. Any groupcast index coding problem is described by its \emph{fitting matrix} which contains unknown entries along with $1$'s and $0$'s. The problem of finding an optimal scalar linear code is equivalent to completing this matrix with known entries such that the rank of the resulting matrix is minimized. Any row basis of such a completion gives an optimal \emph{scalar linear} code. An index coding problem is said to be a joint extension of a finite number of index coding problems, if the fitting matrices of these problems are disjoint submatrices of the fitting matrix of the jointly extended problem. In this paper, a class of joint extensions of any finite number of groupcast index coding problems is identified, where the relation between the fitting matrices of the sub-problems present in the fitting matrix of the jointly extended problem is defined by a base problem. A lower bound on the \emph{minrank} (optimal scalar linear codelength) of the jointly extended problem is given in terms of those of the sub-problems. This lower bound also has a dependence on the base problem and is operationally useful in finding lower bounds of the jointly extended problems when the minranks of all the sub-problems are known. We provide an algorithm to construct scalar linear codes (not optimal in general), for any groupcast problem belonging to the class of jointly extended problems identified in this paper. The algorithm uses scalar linear codes of all the sub-problems and the base problem. We also identify some subclasses, where the constructed codes are scalar linear optimal.

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