Finite-Length Scaling Laws for Spatially-Coupled LDPC Codes

Abstract: This thesis concerns predicting the finite-length error-correcting performance of spatially-coupled low-density parity-check (SC-LDPC) code ensembles over the binary erasure channel. SC-LDPC codes are a very powerful class of codes; their use in practical communication systems, however, requires the system designer to specify a considerable number of code and decoder parameters, all of which affect both the code’s error-correcting capability and the system’s memory, energy, and latency requirements. Navigating the space of the associated trade-offs is challenging. The aim of the finite-length scaling laws proposed in this thesis is to facilitate code and decoder parameter optimization by providing a way to predict the code’s error-rate performance without resorting to Monte-Carlo simulations for each combination of code/decoder and channel parameters. First, we tackle the problem of predicting the frame, bit, and block error rate of SC-LDPC code ensembles over the binary erasure channel under both belief propagation (BP) decoding and sliding window decoding when the maximum number of decoding iterations is unlimited. The scaling laws we develop provide very accurate predictions of the error rates. Second, we derive a scaling law to accurately predict the bit and block error rate of SC-LDPC code ensembles with doping, a technique relevant for streaming applications for limiting the inherent rate loss of SC-LDPC codes. We then use the derived scaling law for code parameter optimization and show that doping can offer a way to achieve better transmission rates for the same target bit error rate than is possible without doping. Last, we address the most challenging (and most practically relevant) case where the maximum number of decoding iterations is limited, both for BP and sliding window decoding. The resulting predictions are again very accurate. Together, these contributions make finite-length SC-LDPC code and decoder parameter optimization via finite-length scaling laws feasible for the design of practical communication systems.

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