Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical Engineering

First Adviser

Yan, Zhiyuan

Other advisers/committee members

Wagh, Meghanad D.; Li, Jing; Gross, Warren J.; Wang, Ying


Error correctiong codes (ECC) are widly used in applications to correct errors in data transmission over unreliable or noisy communication channels. Recently, two kinds of promising codes attracted lots of research interest because they provide excellent error correction performance. One is non-binary LDPC codes, and the other is polar codes. This dissertation focuses on efficient decoding algorithms and decoder design for thesetwo types of codes.Non-binary low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes have some advantages over their binary counterparts, but unfortunately their decoding complexity is a significant challenge. The iterative hard- and soft-reliability based majority-logic decoding algorithms are attractive for non-binary LDPC codes, since they involve only finite field additions and multiplications as well as integer operations and hence have significantly lower complexity than other algorithms. We propose two improvements to the majority-logic decoding algorithms. Instead of the accumulation of reliability information in the ex-isting majority-logic decoding algorithms, our first improvement is a new reliability information update. The new update not only results in better error performance and fewer iterations on average, but also further reduces computational complexity. Since existing majority-logic decoding algorithms tend to have a high error floor for codes whose parity check matrices have low column weights, our second improvement is a re-selection scheme, which leads to much lower error floors, at the expense of more finite field operations and integer operations, by identifying periodic points, re-selectingintermediate hard decisions, and changing reliability information.Polar codes are of great interests because they provably achieve the symmetric capacity of discrete memoryless channels with arbitrary input alphabet sizes an explicit construction. Most existing decoding algorithms of polar codes are based on bit-wise hard or soft decisions. We propose symbol-decision successive cancellation (SC) and successive cancellation list (SCL) decoders for polar codes, which use symbol-wise hard or soft decisions for higher throughput or better error performance. Then wepropose to use a recursive channel combination to calculate symbol-wise channel transition probabilities, which lead to symbol decisions. Our proposed recursive channel combination has lower complexity than simply combining bit-wise channel transition probabilities. The similarity between our proposed method and Arıkan’s channel transformations also helps to share hardware resources between calculating bit- and symbol-wise channel transition probabilities. To reduce the complexity of the list pruning, atwo-stage list pruning network is proposed to provide a trade-off between the error performance and the complexity of the symbol-decision SCL decoder. Since memory is a significant part of SCL decoders, we also propose a pre-computation memory-saving technique to reduce memory requirement of an SCL decoder.To reduce the complexity of the recursive channel combination further, we propose an approximate ML (AML) decoding unit for SCL decoders. In particular, we investigate the distribution of frozen bits of polar codes designed for both the binary erasure and additive white Gaussian noise channels, and take advantage of the distribution to reduce the complexity of the AML decoding unit, improving the throughput-area efficiency of SCL decoders.Furthermore, to adapt to variable throughput or latency requirements which exist widely in current communication applications, a multi-mode SCL decoder with variable list sizes and parallelism is proposed. If high throughput or small latency is required, the decoder decodes multiple received words in parallel with a small list size. However, if error performance is of higher priority, the multi-mode decoder switches to a serialmode with a bigger list size. Therefore, the multi-mode SCL decoder provides a flexible tradeoff between latency, throughput and error performance at the expense of small overhead.