Design of LDPC Codes: A Survey and New Results

Gianluigi Liva, Shumei Song, Lan Lan, Yifei Zhang, Shu Lin, William E. Ryan


This survey paper provides fundamentals in the design of LDPC codes. To provide a target for the code designer, we first summarize the EXIT chart technique for determining(near-)optimal degree distributions for LDPC code ensembles. We also demonstrate the simplicity of representing codes by protographs and how this naturally leads to quasi-cyclic LDPC codes. The EXIT chart technique is then extended to the special case of protograph-based LDPC codes. Next, we present several design approaches for LDPC codes which incorporate one or more accumulators, including quasi-cyclic accumulatorbased codes. The second half the paper then surveys severalalgebraic LDPC code design techniques. First, codes based on finite geometries are discussed and then codes whose designs are based on Reed-Solomon codes are covered. The algebraic designs lead to cyclic, quasi-cyclic, and structured codes. The masking technique for converting regular quasi-cyclic LDPC codes to irregular codes is also presented. Some of these results and codes have not been presented elsewhere. The paper focuses on the binary-input AWGN channel (BI-AWGNC). However, as discussed in the paper, good BI-AWGNC codes tend to be universally good across many channels. Alternatively, the reader may treat this paper as a starting point for extensions to more advanced channels. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of open problems.

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