Analysis and Design of Spatially-Coupled Codes with Application to Fiber-Optical Communications
Doctoral thesis, 2016
The theme of this thesis is the analysis and design of error-correcting codes that are suitable for high-speed fiber-optical communication systems. In particular, we consider two code classes. The codes in the first class are protograph-based low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes which are decoded using iterative soft-decision decoding. The codes in the second class are generalized LDPC codes with degree-2 variable nodes—henceforth referred to as generalized product codes (GPCs)—which are decoded using iterative bounded-distance decoding (BDD). Within each class, our focus is primarily on spatially-coupled codes. Spatially-coupled codes possess a convolutional structure and are characterized by a wave-like decoding behavior caused by a termination boundary effect. The contributions of this thesis can then be categorized into two topics, as outlined below.
First, we consider the design of systems operating at high spectral efficiency. In particular, we study the optimization of the mapping of the coded bits to the modulation bits for a polarization-multiplexed system that is based on the bit-interleaved coded modulation paradigm. As an example, for the (protograph-based) AR4JA code family, the transmission reach can be extended by roughly up to 8% by using an optimized bit mapper, without significantly increasing the system complexity. For terminated spatially-coupled codes with long spatial length, the bit mapper optimization only results in marginal performance improvements, suggesting that a sequential allocation is close to optimal. On the other hand, an optimized allocation can significantly improve the performance of tail-biting spatially-coupled codes which do not possess an inherent termination boundary. In this case, the unequal error protection offered by the modulation bits of a nonbinary signal constellation can be exploited to create an artificial termination boundary that induces a wave-like decoding for tail-biting spatially-coupled codes.
As a second topic, we study deterministically constructed GPCs. GPCs are particularly suited for high-speed applications such as optical communications due to the significantly reduced decoding complexity of iterative BDD compared to iterative soft-decision decoding of LDPC codes. We propose a code construction for GPCs which is sufficiently general to recover several well-known classes of GPCs as special cases, e.g., irregular product codes (PCs), block-wise braided codes, and staircase codes. Assuming transmission over the binary erasure channel, it is shown that the asymptotic performance of the resulting codes can be analyzed by means of a recursive density evolution (DE) equation. The DE analysis is then applied to study three different classes of GPCs: spatially-coupled PCs, symmetric GPCs, and GPCs based on component code mixtures.
generalized product codes
generalized low-density parity-check codes
Bit-interleaved coded modulation