CRC-assisted error correction in a convolutionally coded system

Renqiu Wang, Wanlun Zhao, Georgios B. Giannakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


In communication systems employing a serially concatenated cyclic redundancy check (CRC) code along with a convolutional code (CC), erroneous packets after CC decoding are usually discarded. The list Viterbi algorithm (LVA) and the iterative Viterbi algorithm (IVA) are two existing approaches capable of recovering erroneously decoded packets. We here employ a soft decoding algorithm for CC decoding, and introduce several schemes to identify error patterns using the posterior information from the CC soft decoding module. The resultant iterative decoding-detecting (IDD) algorithm improves error performance by iteratively updating the extrinsic information based on the CRC parity check matrix. Assuming errors only happen in unreliable bits characterized by small absolute values of the log-likelihood ratio (LLR), we also develop a partial IDD (P-IDD) alternative which exhibits comparable performance to IDD by updating only a subset of unreliable bits. We further derive a soft-decision syndrome decoding (SDSD) algorithm, which identifies error patterns from a set of binary linear equations derived from CRC syndrome equations. Being noniterative, SDSD is able to estimate error patterns directly from the decoder output. The packet error rate (PER) performance of SDSD is analyzed following the union bound approach on pairwise errors. Simulations indicate that both IDD and IVA are better tailored for single parity check (PC) codes than for CRC codes. SDSD outperforms both IDD and LVA with weak CC and strong CRC. Applicable to AWGN and flat fading channels, our algorithms can also be extended to turbo coded systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1807-1815
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Paper approved by A. Banihashemi, the Editor for Coding and Communication Theory of the IEEE Communications Society. Manuscript received April 14, 2005; revised September 22, 2006. This work was supported through collaborative participation in the Communications and Networks Consortium sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory under the Collaborative Technology Alliance Program, Cooperative Agreement DAAD19-01-2-0011. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon. This paper was presented in part at IEEE International Conference on Communications, Istanbul, Turkey, June 11-15, 2006.


  • CRC
  • Convolutional codes
  • Error correction
  • Iterative Viterbi decoding
  • List Viterbi decoding

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