Nguyen, Phong Sy (2012-07). Advanced Coding Techniques with Applications to Storage Systems. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • This dissertation considers several coding techniques based on Reed-Solomon (RS) and low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes. These two prominent families of error-correcting codes have attracted a great amount of interest from both theorists and practitioners and have been applied in many communication scenarios. In particular, data storage systems have greatly benefited from these codes in improving the reliability of the storage media. The first part of this dissertation presents a unified framework based on rate-distortion (RD) theory to analyze and optimize multiple decoding trials of RS codes. Finding the best set of candidate decoding patterns is shown to be equivalent to a covering problem which can be solved asymptotically by RD theory. The proposed approach helps understand the asymptotic performance-versus-complexity trade-off of these multiple-attempt decoding algorithms and can be applied to a wide range of decoders and error models. In the second part, we consider spatially-coupled (SC) codes, or terminated LDPC convolutional codes, over intersymbol-interference (ISI) channels under joint iterative decoding. We empirically observe the phenomenon of threshold saturation whereby the belief-propagation (BP) threshold of the SC ensemble is improved to the maximum a posteriori (MAP) threshold of the underlying ensemble. More specifically, we derive a generalized extrinsic information transfer (GEXIT) curve for the joint decoder that naturally obeys the area theorem and estimate the MAP and BP thresholds. We also conjecture that SC codes due to threshold saturation can universally approach the symmetric information rate of ISI channels. In the third part, a similar analysis is used to analyze the MAP thresholds of LDPC codes for several multiuser systems, namely a noisy Slepian-Wolf problem and a multiple access channel with erasures. We provide rigorous analysis and derive upper bounds on the MAP thresholds which are shown to be tight in some cases. This analysis is a first step towards proving threshold saturation for these systems which would imply SC codes with joint BP decoding can universally approach the entire capacity region of the corresponding systems.

publication date

  • July 2012