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Error-floors are the main reason for excluding LDPC codes from applications requiring very low bit-error rate. They are attributed to a particular structure in the codes' Tanner graphs, known as trapping sets, which traps the message-passing algorithms commonly used to decode LDPC codes, and prevents decoding from converging to the correct codeword. A technique is proposed to break trapping sets while decoding. Based on decoding results leading to a decoding failure, some bits are identified in a previous iteration and flipped and decoding is restarted. This backtracking may enable the decoder to get out of the trapped state. A semi-analytical method is also proposed to predict the error-floor after backtracking. Simulation results indicate the effectiveness of the proposed technique in lowering the error-floor. The technique, which has moderate complexity overhead, is applicable to any code without requiring a prior knowledge of the structure of its trapping sets.
Date of Publication: January 2011