Performance limits of compound codes with symbol-based iterative decoding

H. Sawaya, S. Vialle, Joseph Boutros, G. Zémor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We study the performance limit of concatenated codes based on binary constituent codes, under symbol-based iterative decoding. Although the results exposed herein are valid for any compound code built from both block and convolutional codes, we mainly focus on parallel turbo codes based on binary convolutional codes. The performance limit is found by evaluating the probability density function of the APP decoder output via a general propagation formula governing the density law through iterations. We propose also a second method to estimate the signal-to-noise ratio limit where the a priori density is assumed to be gaussian distributed. The results show that a gain in performance is achieved when bit nodes are combined into quaternary symbol nodes. For example, with a rate 1/2 Turbo code and a rate 2/3 binary RSC constituent, the minimal attainable signal-to-noise ratio per bit is 0.31 dB which is 0.13 dB away from the capacity of the AWGN channel with BPSK modulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalElectronic Notes in Discrete Mathematics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Belief propagation
  • Concatenated codes
  • Soft-input soft-output decoding
  • Turbo codes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Applied Mathematics

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