Performance Prediction Recipes for Optical Links
Journal article, 2021

Although forward error-correction (FEC) coding is an essential part of modern fiber-optic communication systems, it is impractical to implement and evaluate FEC in transmission experiments and simulations. Therefore, it is desirable to accurately predict the end-to-end link performance including FEC from transmission data recorded without FEC. In this tutorial, we provide ready-to-implement “recipes” for such prediction techniques, which apply to arbitrary channels and require no knowledge of information or coding theory. The appropriate choice of recipe depends on properties of the FEC encoder and decoder. The covered metrics include bit error rate, symbol error rate, achievable information rate, and asymptotic information, in all cases computed using a mismatched receiver. Supplementary software implementations are available.


optical communication

probabilistic shaping


mismatched decoding



Bit error rate

bit error rate

Forward error correction

Achievable information rate

asymmetric information

performance metrics



Erik Agrell

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Communication, Antennas and Optical Networks

M. Secondini

Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Telecomunicazioni (CNIT)

Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies (SSSUP)

A. Alvarado

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Tsuyoshi Yoshida

Osaka University

Eindhoven University of Technology

IEEE Photonics Technology Letters

1041-1135 (ISSN) 19410174 (eISSN)

Vol. 33 18 1034-1037 9468672

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