The art of signaling: fifty years of coding theory
In 1948 Shannon developed fundamental limits on the efficiency of communication over noisy channels. The coding theorem asserts that there are block codes with code rates arbitrarily close to channel capacity and probabilities of error arbitrarily close to zero. Fifty years later, codes for the Gaussian channel have been discovered that come close to these fundamental limits. There is now a substantial algebraic theory of error-correcting codes with as many connections to mathematics as to engineering practice, and the last 20 years have seen the construction of algebraic-geometry codes that can be encoded and decoded in polynomial time, and that beat the Gilbert-Varshamov bound. Given the size of coding theory as a subject, this review is of necessity a personal perspective, and the focus is reliable communication, and not source coding or cryptography. The emphasis is on connecting coding theories for Hamming and Euclidean space and on future challenges, specifically in data networking, wireless communication, and quantum information theory. © 1998 IEEE.
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