The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

SC390 - Introduction to Forward Error Correction

Monday, 20 March
08:30 - 12:30

Short Course Level: Beginner


Frank Kschischang; Univ. of Toronto, Canada

Short Course Description:

Error-control coding, the technique of adding redundancy in controlled fashion to transmitted data so as to correct errors introduced by noise or other channel impairments, is a key component of modern optical communication systems.  This course introduces basic concepts in coding and information theory:  channel models and channel capacity (the Shannon limit), encoders and decoders (hard-decision and soft-decision), linear block codes, code rate and overhead, Hamming distance, net coding gain, generator matrices, parity-check matrices, syndromes, and finite fields.  Specific families and constructions of error-correcting codes will be described, including Hamming codes, Reed-Solomon codes, BCH codes, product codes, and concatenated codes.  Techniques for combining coding with higher-order modulation (such as 16-QAM) will also be described.  Advanced coding concepts, such as low-density parity-check codes and their decoding, will be described briefly.

Short Course Benefits:

This course should enable participants to:

  • Define the key parameters of an error-correcting code.

  • Explain the system-level benefits provided by FEC.

  • Discuss the existence of fundamental limits (Shannon capacity) on FEC.

  • Interpret generator-matrix and parity-check-matrix descriptions of a code.

  • Encode and decode a binary Hamming code.

  • Describe the key parameters of Reed-Solomon codes and binary BCH codes.

  • Combine two or more codes into a product-code or concatenation.

  • Combine binary FEC with higher-order modulation.

Short Course Audience:

Systems engineers, system operators and managers who need to understand the costs and benefits in applying physical-layer error-control coding in a communications link.   No previous background in information theory or algebra is assumed.

Instructor Biography:

Frank R. Kschischang holds the title of Distinguished Professor of Digital Communications at the University of Toronto, where he has been a faculty member teaching graduate courses in coding theory and information theory since 1991.  Prof. Kschischang has received numerous awards both for his teaching and for his research, including the 2006 University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Teaching Award and the 2010 IEEE Communications Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award (for a paper on error-control in network coding).   Prof. Kschischang is a co-inventor of “staircase codes,” a family of spatially-coupled product codes well-suited for applications in optical transport networks.

Sponsored by: