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Bit-by-bit soft-decision decoding of binary cyclic codes is considered. A significant reduction in decoder complexity can be achieved by requiring only that the decoder correct all analog error patterns which fall within a Euclidean sphere whose radius is equal to half the minimum Euclidean distance of the code. Such a "maximum-radius" scheme is asymptotically optimum for the additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channel. An iterative extension of the basic algebraic analog decoding scheme is discussed, and performance curves are given for the (17,9), (21,11), and (73,45) codes on the AWGN channel.