EE/Ma 127b - Second Term of "Error Correcting Codes"

9 units (3-0-6); third term. Prerequisites: EE/Ma 127a


Robert J. McEliece
Office: Moore 162 A
E-mail: rjm@systems
Office hours: MWF after class. I will hang around to answer questions,discuss the weather, etc., after each lecture. I will be happy tomeet with students at other times, too. Please schedule these visits withmy secretary Shirley Beatty (162 Moore, shirley@systems, x4715).

Tracey Ho
Office: Moore 231
E-mail: tho
Office hours: Friday 4-5 p.m. or e-mail me to arrange an appointment

Teaching Assistant

Xiaoyan (Michelle) Yuan (


Class Meetings:

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00--9:55 am in Room 080 Moore. I have reserved the room until 10:30, so we should have plenty of time for informal discussions after class.


Lecture 0.
Lecture 1, 3/26/07
Lecture 2, 3/28/07
Lecture 3, 3/30/07
Viterbi Decoder Lecture, 4/2/07
Lecture 4, 4/4/07
Lecture 5, 4/6/07
Lecture 6, 4/9/07
Lecture 7, 4/11/07
Lecture 8, 4/13/07 (a repeat of a 2004 Lecture)
Lecture 9, 4/16/07
Lecture 10, 4/18/07
Lecture 11, 4/23/07
Lecture 12 (Turbo Codes), 4/23/07
Lecture 13, 4/30/07
Lecture 14, 5/2/07
Lecture 15, 5/4/07
Lecture 16, 5/7/07
Lecture 17, 5/9/07
Lecture 18, 5/14/07
Lecture 19, 5/16/07
Lecture 20, 5/18/07
Lecture 21, 5/21/07
Lecture 22, 5/23/07
Lecture 23, 5/25/07

Homework/Project Assignments

Viterbi Decoder Project, due week of April 23
Homework Assignment 1, due April 6
Homework Assignment 2, due April 13
Homework Assignment 3, due April 23
Homework Assignment 4, due April 30
Solution to HW4 Problem 3 (from Dr. Divsalar)
Homework Assignment 5, due May 9
Solution to Homework Assignment 5
Homework Assignment 6, due May 18
Solution to Homework Assignment 6
Homework Assignment 7, due May 25
Solution to Homework Assignment 7


The Theory of Information and Coding, 2nd. ed. by Robert J. McEliece (Cambridge University Press, 2002.)

Other references

Error Control Coding, 2nd. ed. by Lin and Costello (Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2004.)
Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms by David MacKay (Cambridge University Press, 2003.)
Fundamentals of codes, graphs and iterative decoding by Wicker and Kim (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003.)
Low-density parity-check codes by Gallager (MIT press, 1963.) Sipser and Spielman, "Expander codes," IEEE transactions on information theory, November 1996.
Kschischang, Frey and Loeliger, "Factor graphs and the sum-product algorithm," IEEE transactions on information theory, February 2001.
Hu, Eleftheriou, Arnold and Dholakia, "Efficient implementations of the sum-product algorithm for decoding LDPC codes," IEEE GLOBECOM, November 2002. Mansour and Shanbhag, "High-throughput LDPC decoders," IEEE transactions on very large scale integration systems, December 2003. Zhang, Wang and Pahri, "On finite precision implementation of low-density parity check codes decoder," IEEE Workshop on signal processing systems, September 2001. Nasera, Quaglio and Vacca, "Finite precision implementation of LDPC decoders," IEE Proceedings-Commun., December 2005. Richardson and Urbanke, "The capacity of low density parity check codes under message-passing decoding," IEEE transactions on information theory, February 2001.

Grading Policy

There will be a number of homework assignments, approximately one per week, and one or two software projects. (Details to follow.) On each of these assignments youwill receive a letter grade. Your letter grade in the course will be aweighted average of the grades on these assignments, where each homeworkassignment will have weight one, and each project will have weight five. (I will not count your worst HW.)

Homework Collaboration Policy

I expect you to try to do the problems yourself, since I believe that thismaterial is best learned through problem-solving. If you get stuck, however,I don't object to you asking for help, from another student, from the TA's,or from me, unless the problem is explicitly designated as a "nocollaboration" problem. (In that case, you can only ask the TA's or me, andwe will give only general advice.) Of course, I expect you to write up yourown solutions, and to understand what you hand in.

Late Homework Policy

Please turn in the homework when it is due! One of the most valuable lessonsyou can learn, at Caltech or elsewhere, is to deliver the goods on time! Anyway, I will normally not grant homework extensions.