An efficient variable-length code construction for iterative source-channel decoding

Ragnar Thobaben, Jörg Kliewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We present a novel variable-length code (VLC) construction which exhibits an inherent error correcting capability due to the exclusive presence of codewords with even Hamming weight. Besides error robustness, the proposed code construction features a similar codeword length distribution as Golomb-Rice codes, and therefore, in particular for sources with exponentially distributed symbols, has good source compression properties at the same time. We show that in a source channel coding framework with outer source encoding, inner channel encoding with a recursive convolutional code, and iterative decoding the proposed VLC construction can lead to significant performance improvements compared to fixed-length source encoding with optimized mappings. In particular, simulation results for the AWGN channel verify that for Gauss-Markov sources a performance close to the theoretical limit can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2005-2013
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Iterative decoding
  • Joint source channel coding
  • Serially concatenated codes
  • Variable-length codes


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