Codes on Graphs and More

Abstract: Modern communication systems strive to achieve reliable and efficient information transmission and storage with affordable complexity. Hence, efficient low-complexity channel codes providing low probabilities for erroneous receptions are needed. Interpreting codes as graphs and graphs as codes opens new perspectives for constructing such channel codes. Low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes are one of the most recent examples of codes defined on graphs, providing a better bit error probability than other block codes, given the same decoding complexity. After an introduction to coding theory, different graphical representations for channel codes are reviewed. Based on ideas from graph theory, new algorithms are introduced to iteratively search for LDPC block codes with large girth and to determine their minimum distance. In particular, new LDPC block codes of different rates and with girth up to 24 are presented. Woven convolutional codes are introduced as a generalization of graph-based codes and an asymptotic bound on their free distance, namely, the Costello lower bound, is proven. Moreover, promising examples of woven convolutional codes are given, including a rate 5/20 code with overall constraint length 67 and free distance 120. The remaining part of this dissertation focuses on basic properties of convolutional codes. First, a recurrent equation to determine a closed form expression of the exact decoding bit error probability for convolutional codes is presented. The obtained closed form expression is evaluated for various realizations of encoders, including rate 1/2 and 2/3 encoders, of as many as 16 states. Moreover, MacWilliams-type identities are revisited and a recursion for sequences of spectra of truncated as well as tailbitten convolutional codes and their duals is derived. Finally, the dissertation is concluded with exhaustive searches for convolutional codes of various rates with either optimum free distance or optimum distance profile, extending previously published results.

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