Trellis Decoding And Applications For Quantum Error Correction

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Sabo, Eric
Harrell, Evans M.
Brown, Kenneth R.
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Compact, graphical representations of error-correcting codes called trellises are a crucial tool in classical coding theory, establishing both theoretical properties and performance metrics for practical use. The idea was extended to quantum error-correcting codes by Ollivier and Tillich in 2005. Here, we use their foundation to establish a practical decoder able to compute the maximum-likely error for any stabilizer code over a finite field of prime dimension. We define a canonical form for the stabilizer group and use it to classify the internal structure of the graph. Similarities and differences between the classical and quantum theories are discussed throughout. Numerical results are presented which match or outperform current state-of-the-art decoding techniques. New construction techniques for large trellises are developed and practical implementations discussed. We then define a dual trellis and use algebraic graph theory to solve the maximum-likely coset problem for any stabilizer code over a finite field of prime dimension at minimum added cost. Classical trellis theory makes occasional theoretical use of a graph product called the trellis product. We establish the relationship between the trellis product and the standard graph products and use it to provide a closed form expression for the resulting graph, allowing it to be used in practice. We explore its properties and classify all idempotents. The special structure of the trellis allows us to present a factorization procedure for the product, which is much simpler than that of the standard products. Finally, we turn to an algorithmic study of the trellis and explore what coding-theoretic information can be extracted assuming no other information about the code is available. In the process, we present a state-of-the-art algorithm for computing the minimum distance for any stabilizer code over a finite field of prime dimension. We also define a new weight enumerator for stabilizer codes over F_2 incorporating the phases of each stabilizer and provide a trellis-based algorithm to compute it.
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