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Two error detection techniques are examined with a view toward maximizing the average rate at which information can be transmitted reliably through a burst-error channel. It is assumed that the time required for transmission of a block of channel symbols varies linearly with the block length. For the three-parameter family of Gilbert burst-error channels, the block length that maximizes the information rate can be found from a single composite channel parameter, which may be interpreted as the error rate of an equivalent binary symmetric channel (BSC). For one of the error detection techniques, which uses a separately coded accept/reject (A/R) signal, the construction of and decision rule for an A/R code-word pair which includes a fail-safe feature are derived for the BSC. For the second type of system, in which an A/R bit is added to each information block, it is shown that interchannel correlation has little effect on system performance.