In this work, the rate region of the vector Gaussian multiple description problem with individual and central quadratic distortion constraints is studied. In particular, an outer bound to the rate region of the L-description problem is derived. The bound is obtained by lower bounding a weighted sum rate for each supporting hyperplane of the rate region. The key idea is to introduce at most L-1 auxiliary random variables and further impose upon the variables a Markov structure according to the ordering of the description weights. This makes it possible to greatly simplify the derivation of the outer bound. In the scalar Gaussian case, the complete rate region is fully characterized by showing that the outer bound is tight. In this case, the optimal weighted sum rate for each supporting hyperplane is obtained by solving a single maximization problem. This contrasts with existing results, which require solving a min-max optimization problem.
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