Source and channel coding using Fountain codes

The invention of Fountain codes is a major advance in the field of error correcting codes. The goal of this work is to study and develop algorithms for source and channel coding using a family of Fountain codes known as Raptor codes. From an asymptotic point of view, the best currently known sum-product decoding algorithm for non binary alphabets has a high complexity that limits its use in practice. For binary channels, sum-product decoding algorithms have been extensively studied and are known to perform well. In the first part of this work, we develop a decoding algorithm for binary codes on non-binary channels based on a combination of sum-product and maximum-likelihood decoding. We apply this algorithm to Raptor codes on both symmetric and non-symmetric channels. Our algorithm shows the best performance in terms of complexity and error rate per symbol for blocks of finite length for symmetric channels. Then, we examine the performance of Raptor codes under sum-product decoding when the transmission is taking place on piecewise stationary memoryless channels and on channels with memory corrupted by noise. We develop algorithms for joint estimation and detection while simultaneously employing expectation maximization to estimate the noise, and sum-product algorithm to correct errors. We also develop a hard decision algorithm for Raptor codes on piecewise stationary memoryless channels. Finally, we generalize our joint LT estimation-decoding algorithms for Markov-modulated channels. In the third part of this work, we develop compression algorithms using Raptor codes. More specifically we introduce a lossless text compression algorithm, obtaining in this way competitive results compared to the existing classical approaches. Moreover, we propose distributed source coding algorithms based on the paradigm proposed by Slepian and Wolf.


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