Skip to Main Content
Several combinatorial properties of low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes, such as minimum distance, diameter, stopping number, girth and cycle-length distribution of the corresponding Tanner graph, are known to influence their performance under iterative decoding. Recently, a new class of combinatorial configurations, termed trapping sets, was shown to be of significant importance in determining the properties of LDPC codes in the error-floor region. Very little is known both about the existence/parameters of trapping sets in structured LDPC codes and about possible techniques for reducing their negative influence on the code's performance. In this paper, we address both these problems from an algorithmic and combinatorial perspective. We first provide a numerical study of the trapping phenomena for the Margulis code, which exhibits a fairly high error-floor. Based on this analysis, conducted for two different implementations of iterative belief propagation, we propose a novel decoding process, termed averaged decoding. Averaged decoding provides for a significant reduction in the number of incorrectly decoded frames in the error-floor region of the Margulis code. Furthermore, based on the results of the algorithmic approach, we suggest a novel combinatorial characterizations of trapping sets in the class of LDPC codes based on finite geometries. Projective geometry LDPC codes are suspected to have extremely low error-floors, which is a property that we may attribute to the non-existence of certain small trapping sets in the code graph.