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Optimizing and decoding LDPC codes with graph-based techniques


Low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes have been known for their outstanding error-correction capabilities. With low- complexity decoding algorithms and a near capacity performance, these codes are among the most promising forward error correction schemes. LDPC decoding algorithms are generally sub-optimal and their performance not only depends on the codes, but also on many other factors, such as the code representation. In particular, a given non- binary code can be associated with a number of different field or ring image codes. Additionally, each LDPC code can be described with many different Tanner graphs. Each of these different images and graphs can possibly lead to a different performance when used with iterative decoding algorithms. Consequently, in this dissertation we try to find better representations, i.e., graphs and images, for LDPC codes. We take the first step by analyzing LDPC codes over multiple-input single-output (MISO) channels. In an n_T by 1 MISO system with a modulation of alphabet size 2M̂, each group of n_T transmitted symbols are combined and produce one received symbol at the receiver. As a result, we consider the LDPC-coded MISO system as an LDPC code over a 2̂{M n_T}-ary alphabet. We introduce a modified Tanner graph to represent MISO-LDPC systems and merge the MISO symbol detection and binary LDPC decoding steps into a single message passing decoding algorithm. We present an efficient implementation for belief propagation decoding that significantly reduces the decoding complexity. With numerical simulations, we show that belief propagation decoding over modified graphs outperforms the conventional decoding algorithm for short length LDPC codes over unknown channels. Subsequently, we continue by studying images of non-binary LDPC codes. The high complexity of belief propagation decoding has been proven to be a detrimental factor for these codes. Thereby, we suggest employing lower complexity decoding algorithms over image codes instead. We introduce three classes of binary image codes for a given non-binary code, namely: basic, mixed, and extended binary image codes. We establish upper and lower bounds on the minimum distance of these binary image codes, and present two techniques to find binary image codes with better performance under belief propagation decoding algorithm. In particular, we present a greedy algorithm to find optimized binary image codes. We then proceed by investigation of the ring image codes. Specifically, we introduce matrix-ring-image codes for a given non-binary code. We derive a belief propagation decoding algorithm for these codes, and with numerical simulations, we demonstrate that the low-complexity belief propagation decoding of optimized image codes has a performance very close to the high complexity BP decoding of the original non-binary code. Finally, in a separate study, we investigate the performance of iterative decoders over binary erasure channels. In particular, we present a novel approach to evaluate the inherent unequal error protection properties of irregular LDPC codes over binary erasure channels. Exploiting the finite length scaling methodology, that has been used to study the average bit error rate of finite-length LDPC codes, we introduce a scaling approach to approximate the bit erasure rates in the waterfall region of variable nodes with different degrees. Comparing the bit erasure rates obtained from Monte Carlo simulation with the proposed scaling approximations, we demonstrate that the scaling approach provides a close approximation for a wide range of code lengths. In view of the complexity associated with the numerical evaluation of the scaling approximation, we also derive simpler upper and lower bounds and demonstrate through numerical simulations that these bounds are very close to the scaling approximation

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