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UBC Theses and Dissertations

On the computation of the probability of undetected error for linear block codes on the Gilbert channel Wong, Brenden


An important measure of the performance of error detecting codes is the probability of undetected error. Extensive study on the subject has yielded results which allow for the computation of the probability of undetected error for many codes on the binary symmetric channel (BSC). However, little is known about code performance in more complicated channel models. The Gilbert channel is a two-state, three-parameter model with memory which simulates the effects of burst noise. In this thesis, we investigate methods to compute the probability of undetected error of binary linear block codes on this channel. We examine an approach to approximate code performance based on the P(m,n) distribution which is the probability of m errors in a block of n bits and the weight distribution of the code. For the Gilbert channel, P(m,n) can in principle be calculated from the channel parameters. In practice however, existing methodologies suffer from rather excessive computational requirements, particularly when n is larger than one thousand or so. We have developed an efficient method to calculate P(m,n) for reasonable channel parameters. This allows the probability of undetected error for many codes to be readily estimated. For certain channel and code parameters, the approximation method described above may not be sufficiently accurate. Exact analytical results are difficult to obtain, however; because unlike the BSC, the probability of a particular error pattern on the Gilbert channel depends not just on the number of 1's in the pattern. Nevertheless, by appropriately exploiting certain symmetries present on the Gilbert channel, we can acquire some useful results. We have derived the probability of undetected error for the single parity check code. We have also obtained a formula for summing over a cyclic class of vectors and shown that reciprocal generator polynomials generate cyclic codes which have the same probability of undetected error on the Gilbert channel. The Monte Carlo simulation technique is often used when exact analysis is difficult. In a simulation study of CRC codes, we are able to observe several interesting qualitative results with just a reasonable amount of computational effort. We find that as on the BSC, on the Gilbert channel the probability of undetected error does not always increase with worsening channel conditions. Also, the CRC-CCITT code appears to maintain its superiority in terms of error detection performance over the CRC-ANSI code on the Gilbert channel, and perhaps most significantly, for some ranges of channel parameters, the probability of undetected error estimated using BSC results with the effective bit error rate can be quite inaccurate.

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