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The structure of single-track Gray codes

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2 Author(s)
M. Schwartz ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Technion-Israel Inst. of Technol., Haifa, Israel ; T. Etzion

Single-track Gray codes are cyclic Gray codes with codewords of length n, such that all the n tracks which correspond to the n distinct coordinates of the codewords are cyclic shifts of the first track. We investigate the structure of such binary codes and show that there is no such code with 2n codewords when n is a power of 2. This implies that the known codes with 2n-2n codewords. when n is a power of 2, are optimal. This result is then generalized to codes over GF(p), where p is a prime. A subclass of single-track Gray codes, called single-track Gray codes with k-spaced heads, is also defined. All known systematic constructions for single-track Gray codes result in codes from this subclass. We investigate this class and show it has a strong connection with two classes of sequences, the full-order words and the full-order self-dual words. We present an iterative construction for binary single-track Gray codes which are asymptotically optimal if an infinite family of asymptotically optimal seed-codes exists. This construction is based on an effective way to generate a large set of distinct necklaces and a merging method for cyclic Gray codes based on necklaces representatives

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 7 )