Universal Rateless Codes From Coupled LT Codes
It was recently shown that spatial coupling of individual low-density parity-check codes improves the belief-propagation threshold of the coupled ensemble essentially to the maximum a posteriori threshold of the underlying ensemble. We study the performance of spatially coupled low-density generator-matrix ensembles when used for transmission over binary-input memoryless output-symmetric channels. We show by means of density evolution that the threshold saturation phenomenon also takes place in this setting. Our motivation for studying low-density generator-matrix codes is that they can easily be converted into rateless codes. Although there are already several classes of excellent rateless codes known to date, rateless codes constructed via spatial coupling might offer some additional advantages. In particular, by the very nature of the threshold phenomenon one expects that codes constructed on this principle can be made to be universal, i.e., a single construction can uniformly approach capacity over the class of binary-input memoryless output-symmetric channels. We discuss some necessary conditions on the degree distribution which universal rateless codes based on the threshold phenomenon have to fulfill. We then show by means of density evolution and some simulation results that indeed codes constructed in this way perform very well over a whole range of channel types and channel conditions.