Low-Density Parity-Check Codes with Erasures and Puncturing

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Ha, Jeongseok Ha
McLaughlin, Steven W.
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In this thesis, we extend applications of Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) codes to a combination of constituent sub-channels, which is a mixture of Gaussian channels with erasures. This model, for example, represents a common channel in magnetic recordings where thermal asperities in the system are detected and represented at the decoder as erasures. Although this channel is practically useful, we cannot find any previous work that evaluates performance of LDPC codes over this channel. We are also interested in practical issues such as designing robust LDPC codes for the mixture channel and predicting performance variations due to erasure patterns (random and burst), and finite block lengths. On time varying channels, a common error control strategy is to adapt the coding rate according to available channel state information (CSI). An effective way to realize this coding strategy is to use a single code and puncture it in a rate-compatible fashion, a so-called rate-compatible punctured code (RCPC). We are interested in the existence of good puncturing patterns for rate-changes that minimize performance loss. We show the existence of good puncturing patterns with analysis and verify the results with simulations. Universality of a channel code across a broad range of coding rates is a theoretically interesting topic. We are interested in the possibility of using the puncturing technique proposed in this thesis for designing universal LDPC codes. We also consider how to design high rate LDPC codes by puncturing low rate LDPC codes. The new design method can take advantage of longer effect block lengths, sparser parity-check matrices, and larger minimum distances of low rate LDPC codes.
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