Fundamental Concepts

  • Emilio Sanvicente


This chapter introduces step by step the building blocks of an error control coding system explaining the way they interact to achieve the level of performance we experience today. Block and continuous coders are described together with the concepts of “hard” and “soft” decoding. Also, a light version of soft decoding known as “erasure” decoding is presented. By way of examples, the chapter shows how two coders can combine efforts using the techniques of code concatenation and interleaving. The chapter is complemented with two appendixes. Appendix A explains using a simple example how intersymbol interference can be eliminated by a convenient signal design, thus letting error control coding focus on combating channel noise. Appendix B presents a widely used method to decode continuous codes known as the Viterbi algorithm that also has many applications outside the area of error control coding.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilio Sanvicente
    • 1
  1. 1.Former Professor of Electrical Engineering, School of Telecommunication EngineeringPolytechnic University of CataloniaBarcelonaSpain

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