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Coding for Wireless Channels (Information Technology: Transmission, Processing and Storage)

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Coding for Wireless Channels is an accessible introduction to the theoretical foundations of modern coding theory, with applications to wireless transmission systems. State-of-the-art coding theory is explained using soft (maximum-likelihood) decoding rather than algebraic decoding. Convolutional codes, trellis-coded modulation, turbo codes, and low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes are also covered, with specific reference to the graphical structures through which they can be described and decoded (trellises and factor graphs). A special section is devoted to multiple-antenna systems and space-time codes. The author assumes that the reader has a firm grasp of the concepts usually presented in senior-level courses on digital communications, information theory, and random processes.

Coding for Wireless Channels will serve as an advanced text for undergraduate and graduate level courses and as a reference for professionals in telecommunications.

There are, so it is alleged, many ways to skin a cat. There are also many ways to teach coding theory. My feeling is that, contrary to other disciplines, coding theory was never a fully unified theory. To describe it, one can paraphrase what has been written about the Enlightenment: "It was less a determined swift river than a lacework of deltaic streams working their way along twisted channels" (E. 0. Wilson, Consilience, 1999).

The seed of this book was sown in 2000, when I was invited to teach a course on coded modulation at Princeton University. A substantial portion of students enrolled in the course had little or no background in algebraic coding theory, nor did the time available for the course allow me to cover the basics of the discipline. My choice was to start directly with coding in the signal space, with only a marginal treatment of the indispensable aspects of "classical" algebraic coding theory. The selection of topics covered in this book, intended to serve as a textbook for a firstlevel graduate course, reflects that original choice. Subsequently, I had the occasion to refine the material now collected in this book while teaching Master courses at Politecnico di Torino and at the Institute for Communications Engineering of the Technical University of Munich.

While describing what can be found in this book, let me explain what cannot be found. I wanted to avoid generating an omnium-gatherum, and to keep the book length at a reasonable size, resisting encyclopedic temptations.The leitmotiv here is soft-decodable codes described through graphical structures (trellises and factor graphs). I focus on the basic principles underlying code design, rather than providing a handbook of code design. While an earlier exposure to coding principles would be useful, the material here only assumes that the reader has a firm grasp of the concepts usually presented in senior-lever courses on digital communications, on information theory, and on random processes.

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