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Coding Theory

Lecture, Tu noon-2pm, Th 4pm-6pm, Hofmann, Cichon; Tutorial, Mo noon-2pm, Cichon


  • Please sign up for the course at UniWorx.


Coding theory studies the transmission of information over lossy channels.  In contrast to cryptography, the aim is not to protect information from evesdropping, but to recognise and correct transmission errors.

A simple task in coding theory is to encode a series of bit (of 4 bits, say) such that one bit error can be corrected.  By sending the bit sequence twice, one needs to transmit eight bits and can recognise one error, but there is not enough information to correct errors. If one receives 00100011, for example, then one knows that there has been an error; the original information could have been 0010 (error in bit four) or 0011 (error in bit eight).  If one sends the bit sequence three times, then it is possible to correct one bit error using a majority decision, but one has used twelve bits to do so.  This lecture presents Hamming Codes, using which one can correct one error using only seven bits overall.

Other examples are Reed-Muller and Reed-Solomon codes. The (5,1)-Reed-Muller code, which was developed for a Mars expedition in the seventies, encodes 6 bits of information in 32 bits and can correct 7 bit errors.  Reed-Solomon codes are used in audio CDs and mobile telephony and are especially good at correcting burst errors (e.g. several adjacents bit errors resulting from scratches).

This course presents such encoding methods and their fundamentals.


    • Volume: 3+2 academic hours per week, 6 ECTS
    • Lecture: Prof. Dr. Martin Hofmann, Dr. Gordon Cichon
    • Tutorials: Dr. Gordon Cichon

Place and Time

Lecture Tuesday, noon-2pm Amalienstr. 73A, 101 18.10.2016
Lecture Thursday, 4pm-6pm Amalienstr. 73A, 101
Tutorial Monday, noon-2pm Amalienstr. 73A, 120 24.10.2016

To reach the planned 3 hours per week, lectures will only be held on the dates shown in the table below. Tutorials are held every week.

# Date Type Topic Script
1 10/18 L mh Motivation, Introductory examples, (7,16,3)-Hamming Code 01-18.10
2 10/20 L mh Information, Shannon-Fano, Kraft's Inequality, Shannon's Theorem 02-20.10
10/24 T tutorial
3 10/25 L gc source coding: image and video compression
4 10/27 L gc channel coding: modulation, channel estimation, interleaving, fading, soft- and hard bits
10/31 T tutorial
5 11/3 L gc channel coding (cont'd)
11/7 T tutorial
6 11/8 L mh Hamming distance, channel capacity, channel coding theorem
7 11/10 L mh linear codes, algebraic foundations
11/14 T tutorial
8 11/15 L mh Varsamov Theorem, syndrome decoding, simplex code, Plotkin bound
9 11/17 L mh Reed Muller Code, majority encoding
11/28 T tutorial
10 11/29 L gc Reed Solomon Codes
11 12/1 L gc Cyclic Redundancy Checks, composite codes (concatenation, block, CIRC)
12/5 T tutorial
12 12/6 L mh cyclic codes, BCH bound
13 12/8 L mh convolutional codes, generator matrices, power series
12/12 T tutorial
14 12/13 L mh free distance, decoding of convolutional codes, Fano Algorithm
15  1/12 L mh Viterbi algorithm, puncturing, tail biting
1/16 T tutorial
16 1/17 L gc Turbo codes
17 1/19 L gc LDPC codes
1/23 T tutorial
18 1/24 L gc advanced topics
19 1/26 L gc exam preparation
20 2/9 E exam

Legend: L means lecture, T means tutorial, E means exam


Exercises and problem sheets will be available on Uniworx



exam will take place on 2/9/2017

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