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On the implementation of minimum redundancy prefix codes

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2 Author(s)
Moffat, A. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Melbourne Univ., Parkville, Vic., Australia ; Turpin, A.

Minimum redundancy coding (also known as Huffman coding) is one of the enduring techniques of data compression. Many efforts have been made to improve the efficiency of minimum redundancy coding, the majority based on the use of improved representations for explicit Huffman trees. In this paper, we examine how minimum redundancy coding can be implemented efficiently by divorcing coding from a code tree, with emphasis on the situation when n is large, perhaps on the order of 10 6. We review techniques for devising minimum redundancy codes, and consider in detail how encoding and decoding should be accomplished. In particular, we describe a modified decoding method that allows improved decoding speed, requiring just a few machine operations per output symbol (rather than for each decoded bit), and uses just a few hundred bytes of memory above and beyond the space required to store an enumeration of the source alphabet

Published in:

Communications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Oct 1997

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