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Person# Rafah El-Khatib

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System

A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its

Low-density parity-check code

In information theory, a low-density parity-check (LDPC) code is a linear error correcting code, a method of transmitting a message over a noisy transmission channel. An LDPC code is constructed usi

Code

In communications and information processing, code is a system of rules to convert information—such as a letter, word, sound, image, or gesture—into another form, sometimes shortened or secret, for c

Rafah El-Khatib, Nicolas Macris

We consider the dynamics of message passing for spatially coupled codes and, in particular, the set of density evolution equations that tracks the profile of decoding errors along the spatial direction of coupling. It is known that, for suitable boundary conditions and after a transient phase, the error profile exhibits a "solitonic behavior." Namely, a uniquely shaped wavelike solution develops, which propagates with a constant velocity. Under this assumption, we derive an analytical formula for the velocity in the framework of a continuum limit of the spatially coupled system. The general formalism is developed for spatially coupled low-density parity-check codes on general binary memoryless symmetric channels, which form the main systems of interest in this paper. We apply the formula for special channels and illustrate that it matches the direct numerical evaluation of the velocity for a wide range of noise values. A passible application of the velocity formula to the evaluation of finite size scaling law parameters is also discussed. We conduct a similar analysis for general scalar systems and illustrate the findings with applications to compressive sensing and generalized low-density parity-check codes on the binary erasure or binary symmetric channels.

Rafah El-Khatib, Nicolas Macris, Rüdiger Urbanke

We introduce a technique for the analysis of general spatially coupled systems that are governed by scalar recursions. Such systems can be expressed in variational form in terms of a potential function. We show, under mild conditions, that the potential function is displacement convex and that the minimizers are given by the fixed points (FPs) of the recursions. Furthermore, we give the conditions on the system such that the minimizing FP is unique up to translation along the spatial direction. The condition matches with that of Kudekar et al. [20] for the existence of spatial FPs. Displacement convexity applies to a wide range of spatially coupled recursions appearing in coding theory, compressive sensing, random constraint satisfaction problems, as well as statistical-mechanics models. We illustrate it with applications to low-density parity-check (LDPC) and generalized LDPC codes used for the transmission on the binary erasure channel or general binary memoryless symmetric channels within the Gaussian reciprocal channel approximation as well as compressive sensing.

For the past 70 years or so, coding theorists have been aiming at designing transmission schemes with efficient encoding and decoding algorithms that achieve the capacity of various noisy channels. It was not until the '90s that graph-based codes, such as low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes, and their associated low-complexity iterative decoding algorithms were discovered and studied in depth. Although these schemes are efficient, they are not, in general, capacity-achieving. More specifically, these codes perform well up to some algorithmic threshold on the channel parameter, which is lower than the optimal threshold. The gap between the algorithmic and optimal thresholds was finally closed by spatial coupling. In the context of coding, the belief propagation algorithm on spatially coupled codes yields capacity-achieving low-complexity transmission schemes. The reason behind the optimal performance of spatially coupled codes is

`seeding'' perfect information on the replicas at the boundaries of the coupling chain. This extra information makes decoding easier near the boundaries, and this effect is then propagated into the coupling chain upon iterations of the decoding algorithm. Spatial coupling was also applied to various other problems that are governed by low-complexity message-passing algorithms, such as random constraint satisfaction problems, compressive sensing, and statistical physics. Each system has an associated algorithmic threshold and an optimal threshold. As with coding, once the underlying graphs are spatially coupled, the algorithms for these systems exhibit optimal performance. In this thesis, we analyze the performance of iterative low-complexity message-passing algorithms on general spatially coupled systems, and we specialize our results in coding theory applications. To do this, we express the evolution of the state of the system (along iterations of the algorithm) in a variational form, in terms of the so-called potential functional, in the continuum limit approximation. This thesis consists of two parts. In the first part, we consider the dynamic phase of the message-passing algorithm, in which iterations of the algorithm modify the state of the spatially coupled system. Assuming that the boundaries of the coupled chain are appropriately `

seeded'', we find a closed-form analytical formula for the velocity with which the extra information propagates into the chain. We apply this result to coupled irregular LDPC code-ensembles with transmission over general BMS channels and to coupled general scalar systems. We perform numerical simulations for several applications and show that our formula gives values that match the empirical, observed velocity. This confirms that the continuum limit is an approximation well-suited to the derivation of the formula. In the second part of this thesis, we consider the static phase of the message-passing algorithm, when it can no longer modify the state of the system. We introduce a novel proof technique that employs displacement convexity, a mathematical tool from optimal transport, to prove that the potential functional is strictly displacement convex under an alternative structure in the space of probability measures. We hence establish the uniqueness of the state to which the spatially coupled system converges, and we characterize it. We apply this result to the (l,r)-regular Gallager ensemble with transmission over the BEC and to coupled general scalar systems.