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Efficient maximum likelihood decoding of linear block codes using a trellis

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It is shown that soft decision maximum likelihood decoding of any (n,k) linear block code over GF(q) can be accomplished using the Viterbi algorithm applied to a trellis with no more than q^{(n-k)} states. For cyclic codes, the trellis is periodic. When this technique is applied to the decoding of product codes, the number of states in the trellis can be much fewer than q^{n-k} . For a binary (n,n - 1) single parity check code, the Viterbi algorithm is equivalent to the Wagner decoding algorithm.

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Information Theory, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 1 )