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Analyzing the turbo decoder using the Gaussian approximation

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2 Author(s)
H. El Gamal ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Maryland Univ., College Park, MD, USA ; A. R. Hammons

We introduce a simple technique for analyzing the iterative decoder that is broadly applicable to different classes of codes defined over graphs in certain fading as well as additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) channels. The technique is based on the observation that the extrinsic information from constituent maximum a posteriori (MAP) decoders is well approximated by Gaussian random variables when the inputs to the decoders are Gaussian. The independent Gaussian model implies the existence of an iterative decoder threshold that statistically characterizes the convergence of the iterative decoder. Specifically, the iterative decoder converges to zero probability of error as the number of iterations increases if and only if the channel E b/N0 exceeds the threshold. Despite the idealization of the model and the simplicity of the analysis technique, the predicted threshold values are in excellent agreement with the waterfall regions observed experimentally in the literature when the codeword lengths are large. Examples are given for parallel concatenated convolutional codes, serially concatenated convolutional codes, and the generalized low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes of Gallager and Cheng-McEliece (1996). Convergence-based design of asymmetric parallel concatenated convolutional codes (PCCC) is also discussed

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Information Theory  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 2 )