ELF Codes: Concatenated Codes with an Expurgating Linear Function as the Outer Code

by   Richard Wesel, et al.

An expurgating linear function (ELF) is a linear outer code that disallows the low-weight codewords of the inner code. ELFs can be designed either to maximize the minimum distance or to minimize the codeword error rate (CER) of the expurgated code. List decoding of the inner code from the noiseless all-zeros codeword is an efficient way to identify ELFs that maximize the minimum distance of the expurgated code. For convolutional inner codes, this paper provides distance spectrum union (DSU) upper bounds on the CER of the concatenated code. For short codeword lengths, ELFs transform a good inner code into a great concatenated code. For a constant message size of K=64 bits or constant codeword blocklength of N=152 bits, an ELF can reduce the gap at CER 10^-6 between the DSU and the random-coding union (RCU) bounds from over 1 dB for the inner code alone to 0.23 dB for the concatenated code. The DSU bounds can also characterize puncturing that mitigates the rate overhead of the ELF while maintaining the DSU-to-RCU gap. The reduction in DSU-to-RCU gap comes with a minimal increase in average complexity. List Viterbi decoding guided by the ELF approaches maximum likelihood (ML) decoding of the concatenated code, and average list size converges to 1 as SNR increases. Thus, average complexity is similar to Viterbi decoding on the trellis of the inner code. For rare large-magnitude noise events, which occur less often than the FER of the inner code, a deep search in the list finds the ML codeword.


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