Information Coding for Transmission
(Images, Data, Error Protection)
Southern Methodist University/ National
Technical University
Fall 2003
Lecture 13
Slides only. (No notes.)
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Modems and Modulation
• Digital information is transmitted via some
physical waveform with a parameter (voltage,
optical fiber light intensity, etc.) varying to
represent different coded values
• The process of varying such a parameter is
called modulation. A device which performs
this operation is a modulator. A device which
performs the reverse operation, namely
recovering the digital code value from the
waveform, is a demodulator.
– A jargon term for a device which includes both
functions (one for transmit, the other for receive) is
a modem, from the italicized initial parts of the two
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Sine Wave Carrier
• In many applications, a basic sine wave is used as the
“carrier” waveform for the information
– Historically, radio transmitters utilized analog modulation on a sine
wave1 for voice long before digital transmission
– Historically, voice telephone carrier transmission systems used
frequency division multiplexing (FDM); similar to radio, but via wires
– In these situations, engineers’ thoughts turned naturally to use of
modulated sine waves for data communication as well
• To convey information, these properties of a sine wave are
– Amplitude (modify the voltage up or down ): AM
– Frequency (modify the number of cycles per second): FM
– Phase (modify the time delay or advance of each oscillation cycle
relative to a reference or comparison sine wave of the same
frequency): PM or M
The earliest radio transmitters used “noisy” oscillators (spark gap devices) which could not
produce a “pure” sine wave. When electronic oscillators producing a “pure” sine-wave were
introduced, their output was called “continuous wave” or CW.
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Modulation of a Sine Wave
Phase (PM or M)
Ampliude (AM)
Amplitude &
Phase (QAM)
Frequency (FM)
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Constellation Diagrams
• Discrete PM, QAM (and occasionally AM) symbols can
be represented by points on a constellation diagram
• FM can be represented by a continuously changing
phase, a circular line, rather than point(s), on a
constellation diagram.
•Example constellation here has 25 points. Most
practical constellations have 4, 8, 16, 2N… in
general, and some are not “square”
•With 8 points, each point symbol represents 3
bits, with 16 points, each symbol represents 4 bits,
90°, or Sine
(degrees \
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G 1
H 2
In-phase, 0°
or Cosine
Amplitude Modulation Examples
• Analog AM is used in the long, medium and short wave
radio bands
• A special version of analog AM called Single Side Band
(SSB) is used for military, amateur (“ham”) radio, and for
historical telephone FDM systems
• Simple AM has twice the bandwidth per channel of the
original ‘base band” signals (thus 8 kHz radio bandwidth for
a 4 kHz bandwidth telephone grade voice signal). SSB has
the same bandwidth (4 kHz) and uses less RF power as well.
• The simplest form of digital AM is on/off carrier “keying.”
Morse radio telegraph is an example using Morse* (not
binary) code
– Because of sensitivity to interference from other radio signals, digital
AM is not used in most practical systems.
*Strictly speaking, Continental radiotelegraph Code, a modification of the original hisstorical American Morse-Vail code.
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Frequency Modulation Examples
• Analog FM was invented by the prolific radio inventor Col.
Edwin H. Armstrong, in the 1930s.
• Used for FM broadcasting (88-108 MHz VHF band) and for TV
sound, and for analog cellular radio voice.
• Simple digital FM is called Frequency Shift Keying (FSK); uses
instantaneous shifts between discrete frequencies.
– Used in low bit rate modems (103 and 202 type), and for control signals
associated with analog cellular, etc.
» Early telephone-line modems used different sub-bands of the
3.5 kHz audio bandwidth to prevent interaction between the
originating and answering direction modem signals
» Several methods for gradual shift between frequencies are in use,
such as minimum shift keying (MSK), Gaussian MSK (GMSK- used in
GSM/PCS-1900 etc.), etc.,which minimize radio emission outside of
the desired bandwidth
– All above are nominally binary digital FM.
» Quaternary (4 level) FM is also used in some pocket pager radios,
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Phase Modulation Examples
• Phase modulation is seldom used alone for analog
– FM can be indirectly produced by 1) time-integrating the base
band source waveform, and 2) using it to phase modulate the
carrier, since frequency is the time derivative (time rate of
change) of phase. (Method used by Armstrong in 1935)
– Digital PM is used in various military and other radio data
communication systems, and also in
» CDMA (IS-95) (uses both CDMA coding and PM)
» TDMA (IS-136) digital cellular
» EDGE digital (2+1/2 G) cellular
– In IS-136 (and its historical predecessor, IS-54) the phase
modulated signal is post-filtered to minimize the amount of radio
power transmitted in adjacent frequencies. Radio signals
passing through this special filter self-oscillates slightly
producing an incidental but inevitable variation in the amplitude.
That does not imply that other PM systems have incidental AM
as well.
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QAM: Combined AM and PM
• A combination of both AM and PM allows several bits to
be encoded into one symbol.
– Example: 4 phase angles and 2 amplitude levels allow 8 distinct
symbols, which can encode 3 bits/symbol.
– Use of a higher number of phase angles and amplitude levels also
makes the signal more susceptible to interference and noise.
• Most modern telephone-line modems (V.32, V.34 etc.)
use QAM
• Also proprietary Motorola iDEN (Nextel) digital 800 MHz
SMR= Specialized Mobile Radio) band radio system
• Also ADSL, using QAM on multiple simultaneous
distinct carrier frequencies (DMT= discrete multi-tone)
• Digital adaptive echo-canceller methods utilize the full
~3.5 kHz audio telephone channel bandwidth in both
directions simultaneously for modern telephone line
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Bits/second and baud
• The data rate is the number of bits/second
• The symbol rate is the number of symbols/second, measured in
baud (abbreviated Bd, named for Emile Baudot, the 19th c.
French inventor of an early teletypewriter)
• If the binary data is modulated using only two values of the
modulation parameter, then there is one “symbol” for each
binary bit
– For such a 2-level system, the baud rate is equal to the bit rate
• If a combination of parameters such as in multiple angle PM or
in QAM, then there are several binary bits per symbol. If the
modulation design permits 2N distinct symbols, then each
symbol encodes N bits
• Thus, 4 distinct symbols allows 2 bits/symbol
– 8 distinct symbols allow 3 bits/symbol
– 16 distinct symbols allow 4 bits/symbol
– 32 distinct symbols allow 5 bits/symbol
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56 kb/s PCM modems
• Several proprietary and incompatible 56 kb/s modems have
been on the market since 1997. An ITU standard V.90 is now
– Vendors all have free or low-cost upgrade of earlier proprietary modems
to the V.90 standard
• One end of the telephone link must be a truly digital terminal (socalled DS-0 channel derived from ISDN BRI or a single channel from
T-1). It uses 128 distinct amplitude symbols, with 7 bits/symbol, in
• These modems do not use a sine wave carrier with QAM. A cyclic
binary coding algorithm is used so the waveform will not dwell on
just one voltage level of the Mu-law signal for successive equal
binary data values.
– To get the full 56 kb/s, all 128 amplitude symbol values are exercised
(depending on data values). This would possibly occasionally transmit
audio with +2 dBm or more loudness, causing severe crosstalk. Current
FCC regulations limit the amplitude and thus limit the data rate to 53 kb/s.
In many noisy lines, the real data rate is even lower.
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ISDN “U” Interface
• ISDN basic rate interface (BRI) service can be provided on most
existing subscriber loop twisted pair wire by installing an ISDN
subscriber loop card in the central office switch. Loop length
limitations are typically shorter (e.g. 2 km) than analog loops.
• In North America, 192 kb/s digital signals are transmitted both ways
on ordinary telephone wire using a 4-level voltage symbol with 2 bits
per symbol (2B4Q). A cyclic binary coding algorithm is used so the
waveform will not dwell on just one voltage level of the four for
successive equal binary data values.
• U interface signals in Europe are different in different countries, where
the Telco provides the NT1 interface box at the customer premises
– The physical and signal protocol used on the subscriber side of the NT1 ISDN box is
the same regardless of the national U interface coding.
• Digital adaptive echo cancellers are used to provide simultaneous 192
kb/s two way transmission while preventing interaction between the
subscriber and central office transmitted signals
• Where clear channel transmission is available via the inter-switch
digital part of the transmission path, Basic Rate ISDN can provide two
64 kb/s channels end to end. Otherwise, in North America, 56 kb/s is
available everywhere without clear channel transmission facilities.
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xDSL Methods
• Twisted pair telephone wire has more severe loss for the high
frequency components of high bit rate signals, but there is no
absolute upper limit on the frequency carried
• HDSL* uses a multi-level voltage signal to carry 1.544 Mb/s
digital signal (T-1) via  8 km (5 mi) of ordinary single pair (no
repeaters are used). These signals do not pass through
normal telephone switching equipment, but use special highbit-rate apparatus which connects to the subscriber loop
wires (Digital Subscriber Line Access Module - DSLAM).
• Standard telephone service can be provided simultaneously
on the same wires with some xDSL** signals. Some systems
use passive frequency filters to separate the xDSL signals
from the POTS baseband audio frequencies. Some xDSL
equipment produces little audio frequency range power so
that filters are alleged to be not required (“ADSL-lite”).
*High-rate Digital Subscriber Loop **Initial letter x stands for A or H or other
abbreviation as a class of similar technologies.
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• Can provide up to 6 Mb/s in one direction, perhaps up to 1 Mb/s in other
(both bit rates depend on loop length, local interference level, etc.), as
well as supporting ordinary telephone service on same wire pair
• An existing standard (discrete multi-tone: DMT) uses simultaneous sine
waves at different carrier frequencies. Each one is individually phase
and amplitude modulated.
– A historical competing but not standardized proposal was carrier-less amplitude-phase
(CAP), a single carrier frequency QAM-like technology.
– DMT equipment continually examines the various frequencies during use, and abandons
those with bad interference (crosstalk from other wires, etc.) and assigns other
frequencies, always choosing those carrier with best signals
• ADSL supports many existing and proposed services:
– High bit rate data services: Internet, etc. (most popular current purpose)
– Digitally coded entertainment video, etc. (historical original purpose)
• Hardware cost is high and has not decreased with experience as much
as desired, and competitive technologies like cable modems and
satellites are strong competitors. ADSL maximum loop length is
presently ~15000 feet.
*Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop
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Echo Cancellers and Adaptive Equalizers
• All these modem devices utilize internal
adaptive equipment (often implemented using
DSP – Digital Signal Processor -- technology) to
identify undesired delayed replicas of the
incoming signal (for adaptive equalizers) or the
outgoing signal re-appearing at the input (for
echo cancellation), and then substantially
cancel that undesired signal with an internally
constructed delayed “inverted” waveform.
• In digital cellular and PCS radio systems,
delayed signals (due to multipath radio
propagation from reflections of the radio waves)
are treated via adaptive equalizers also (called
“RAKE receivers” in CDMA radio equipment)
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Source Encoding
• Objective: Reduce bit rate yet convey specific types of
(usually redundant) information accurately
• English or other natural language text
– Certain characters (letters) in e.g. ASCII binary code, certain words
or even entire phrases are frequently repeated
• Fax images (black/white)
– Many small portions of the image contain vertical or horizontal lines,
so parts of some line scans are identical
– Large solid white (or black) areas produce many consecutive binary
1s or 0s.
• Gray scale or color images or moving images
– Aside from redundant information, we also exploit continuity (areas
of uniform color, or very gradual spatial changes in color)
– Small frame-to-frame changes in sequence of moving picture images
• General digital information
– Example: computer program in binary “object code” form. May or
may not have highly redundant information
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From Morse to Huffman
• Morse code (using dots and dashes) was jointly
invented by Samuel Morse and Alexander Vail
• By examination of a printer’s case of type characters,
Morse and Vial recognized that letters like E T A I N M
are frequently used, while J Q Z etc. are least used. (the
Mergenthaler Linotype keyboard similarly used
ETOAIN SHRDLU on the first two rows)
– Shortest Morse code symbols were assigned to the frequent
characters, longest to the infrequent. E=•, T=-, A=•-, J=•--– Consequently the time required to transmit ordinary English text
is minimized
– Use of other languages (e.g. German) would not be maximally
efficient (for example, c only occurs before h or k in native
German words, far less often than in English). Consequently, a
modified “continental” telegraph code was developed in Europe
with different (shorter) symbols for “c” and other letters.
Continental code is the surviving form of Morse code still used
today by amateur and other radio operators.
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Huffman Coding
• A formal procedure for assigning binary codes of
various lengths. Optimal for some data populations.
• Example: for 4 symbols A, B, C, D. Trace branches
from “start” to the symbol; sequence of binary digits
is the code.
• Code for A = 0; for B =10; for C =110; for D =111
• This code is optimal if the relative proportion of A B C D in the
population of messages is respectively 1/2; 1/4; 1/8; 1/8. For
other proportions it is sub-optimal
• Prof. David Huffman (died 1999) of U.C.Davis invented this while
a student at MIT, for a course term paper.
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Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW)
• LZW is a continuously adaptive encoding system
• The late Terry Welch (MCCC, Austin TX) implemented a
practical general purpose system based on the research of
Lempel and Ziv (Weitzmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel)
– PKZIP, by the late Phil Kauffman, (and WinZip) the popular data file
compression software programs, use LZW technology
• Simplified explanation: Transmission starts with a Huffman
code based on English ASCII text. Different codes are
assigned “on the fly” as more data accumulates about the
relative occurrence of each character
• Both the transmitting encoder computer and the receiving
computer do these changes simultaneously
– This continuous updating of the code conversion tables requires an
error free channel! Otherwise decoder and encoder tables will not
remain the same.
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Compound Data Compression?
• Certain types of data do not “compress” well:
– Data in which all (e.g. byte size) bit patterns occur equally often. No
– The output of a “good” LZW data compression is typically without
significant redundancy, and cannot be further compressed
• A code dictionary has a shorter symbol (binary number value)
for each of many (expected) long messages
– Code dictionaries of frequently used business phrases were popular
historically when telegrams were billed by the word
» Examples: “73” represents “Best Wishes”
» “88” represents “Love and Kisses”
» “ARDOK” represents “ship immediately via rail”
– These codes were not used for secrecy. British and US telegraph law
permitted only use of openly published code books.
• Code book compression is theoretically interesting for certain
applications, but in practice requires huge and often impractical
code dictionaries for general compression.
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Image Coding: Pre-processing
• 2-dimensional images are first converted into onedimensional arrays of pixel (picture element) or pel
information via horizontal line scanning, for encoding
and transmission
– Analog TV broadcasting, fax
– Simple Binary Digital encoding of black/white into binary 1/0
values for fax.
– Gray scales, or brightness level of three (R G B) separate colorseparation images are digitized with typically 8 bit uniform code
(no Mu-law compander here)
• Digital picture coding (MPEG, JPEG) uses an
intermediate step of dividing the image area into
smaller squares, each perhaps 100x100 pixels. The
data derived from some of the squares is then
transmitted serially.
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Raster Scanning
Arrows indicate direction of motion of scan spot. The grid of
horizontal scan lines is called a “raster.”
end line 1
end line 2
“flyback” rapid reverse
motion of scan point is
present in television,
not in most FAX
Diagram above illustrates so-called “progressive” or “continuous”
scanning, used in FAX and some computer generated graphics.
Group 3 FAX systems scan 96 lines per vertical inch.
end line 1
end line 2
end line 3
Second diagram illustrates so-called “interlaced” scanning, used in analog TV. Odd numbered
lines are scanned first, producing a “field.” Then even numbered lines are scanned to produce a
second field. The two fields together make a “frame” and fill in the full quantity of scan lines.
This reduces the perceived visual flicker. TV in North America* and Japan uses the National
Television System Committee (NTSC) standard, 525 scan lines per frame, 30 frames/second.
Most other countries use the phase alternating line (PAL) or sequentiel coleur avec memoire
(SECAM) standards, both with 625 lines/frame, 50 frames/second. [*for radio/TV, “North America”
includes Mexico and parts of Central and South America.]
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Scanning Methods
• Early FAX machines mechanically moved a single
photocell over the surface of the paper via a rotating
cylinder or oscillating light spot projector
• Modern fax machines may use a combination of
mechanical motion (vertical direction) and an array of
light sources (light emitting diodes) or photo receptors
• Television cameras originally used electron beams to
scan a photo-emissive metal surface (potassium,
cesium etc.)
• Modern TV cameras use arrays of photo receptor
diodes which are scanned by electronic digital
switching technology. For color information, diode
imagae arrays are fabricated with different color
sensitivity (different alloy doping producing different
light/wavelength sensitivity)
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Modern FAX Methods
• ITU T.30 standard describes Telefax (telephone facsimile).
Historically four systems exist:
– Group 1: original 1960s Xerox telecopier. Mechanical scan of
original document on a rotating cylinder. Analog FM
representation of brightness levels. Obsolete.
– Group 2: early digital system, with data compression coding.
– Group 3: Major digital data compression methods used today to
transmit a page in less than 1 minute. Digital data rate of 9.6 kb/s
via modem normally used, but lower (2.4 kb/s) and higher rates
(14.4, 28.8 kb/s) are also used.
– Group 4: Normally associated with 64 or 56 kb/s digital links,
ISDN. Versatile data formatting permitting different pel density
(e.g., 300 pel/inch to match laser printers, etc.), supports line
printer (ASCII codes) as well as images, etc. etc.
• Other aspects of T.30 standard permit manual answer, start,
paper feed, automatic adjustment of data rate for “noisy”
connections, etc.
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Data Compression in FAX
• Three major data compression methods are used in
Group 3 FAX:
• Scan line difference computation
– Used due to presence of many vertical lines in English text
characters and other images
– Often produces long runs of 0 in the computed difference of two
successive horizontal scan lines
• Run length coding
– Particularly useful following line difference computation
– Useful due to long runs of 1 or of 0. Described instead by a
binary number specifying the length of the run. Compresses
data bits in proportion to log2 of the run length. A run of 2047
pels can be represented by 11 bits with a suitable prefix.
• Huffman Coding
– Not all older Group 3 machines do “Huffman,” so some run
slower. Newer FAX machines compute Huffman codes since
memory and processor chips are now low cost.
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Gray Scale & Color. Motion Pictures
• Photograph-like images are typically encoded using JPEG and
MPEG* coding
• A major feature is Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT), a two
dimensional Fourier analysis of the brightness information, for
each primary color, into horizontal and vertical cosine waves
• Motion pictures use frame-to-frame difference calculation to
avoid transmitting redundant data describing stationary parts
of the image
• Example: A news reader in front of a static background has
motion only in the face and possibly hands.
• Motion Compensation exploits translation (movement without
rotation) of objects in the image by describing the translation
vector for various sub-squares in the picture, and then
transmitting the difference between this translated square of
the picture and the actual image
*Joint Photographic Experts’ Group; Motion Picture Experts’ Group
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Discrete Cosine Transform
• Representation of one monochrome two-dimensional cosine wave
brightness pattern
Illustration represents case
of a full wavelength horizontal,
and a half wavelength vertically,
in one square.
Many other higher order spatial
2-dimensional cosine patterns
are also used for DCT.
Simplest cosine term is a 0,0 or constant brightness square (not shown)
After Fourier analysis, the coefficients of each cosine term are transmitted
Some coefficients are omitted totally if their value is small. This produces a
picture lacking certain details but still acceptable to the human eye, particularly
when scene changes rapidly.
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DCT Results
• Typical video image is divided into many small
squares for analysis
• Each square is analyzed and represented as the
“brightness” coefficient of each appropriate
cosine pattern for each primary color as well
• Coefficients are transmitted and image is built
up starting from longest spatial wavelength
cosines. Image details only are visible when
shorter spatial wavelength terms are included
• Example: overall brown color of a wood table is
immediately visible, but details of the wood
grain only appear after a few seconds.
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Lossy Codes: Exploiting Eye Properties
• The human eye cannot distinguish color in areas of fine detail
– Due to distinct light-sensitive rods (brightness sensitive elements mainly in
the macula or central field of vision) and cones (color sensitive elements
mainly in the outer field of vision) in the retina
– This property exploited in analog and digital color TV
» Low pass analog filter used on video waveform in analog TV removes
small fine details
» Highest spatial frequencies (shortest wavelengths) omitted in DCT
• 3 “primary” colors simulate the true color spectrum
• A rapid sequence of still pictures produces the illusion of
continuous motion
– A result of “persistence of vision” (the eye’s light receptors low-pass timefilter brightness waveforms)
• The eye cannot distinguish sharp focus from lack of focus in a
rapidly changing scene
– This property exploited when DCT builds up gross areas of color during first
fraction of a second, then increases detail later
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Motion Compensation Example
• If the news reader suddenly stands up from an initial sitting
position, the squares which include the head and shoulders will
be copied into the position of squares above their initial position
• Later the discrepancies between the shifted/translated head and
the actual appearance of the scene will be filled in (incorrect
extrapolations shown in pale green)
• The portion of the torso which was originally hidden by the table
(shown in center picture in red) will need to be constructed from
newly transmitted data.
IBC News
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IBC News
IBC News
Error Protection Codes
Extra data is sent. Extra data can be used in some algorithm to expose
the presence of errors (error detection) and in some cases determine
their bit location (error correction). Here are some simplified
explanations of three widely used types:
– Convolutional codes
Similar to multiplication.* Transmit product* and divide received
value by known multiplier. Non zero remainder indicates errors.
– Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC)
Similar to long division* with remainder. Transmit remainder*
appended to data block. Re-compute remainder at destination
using pre-known divisor. If destination remainder disagrees
with received remainder, there are transmission errors.
Block codes
Similar to matrix multiplication*
Example: Hamming codes
* Binary arithmetic for these codes is performed without usual carry or borrow for
these codes (so called modulo-2, XOR or “ring-sum” arithmetic)
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Convolution Code
• Analogous to multiplying* by a pre-determined constant
before transmission
• 10110•10101=100101110, then transmit product*
• Divide* received bit string by the pre-determined constant at
– Non-zero remainder indicates errors
– Some patterns correspond to limited numbers of bit errors at
identifiable bit positions
» correct error(s) by reversing those erroneous bits (01)
– Other patterns with more errors correspond to more than one error
» errors are then detected but not correctable
* Ring sum or
modulo 2
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Cyclic Redundancy Check Code
• Analogous to dividing* by a pre-determined
constant and appending the remainder (CRC) to
the data before transmitting
• The division* is repeated at the destination, and
the computed and received CRC compared
– Non-zero difference indicates errors
– Some patterns correspond to limited numbers of bit errors at
identifiable bit positions
» correct error(s) by reversing those erroneous bits (01)
– Other patterns with more errors correspond to more than one
error condition
» errors are detected but not correctable
* Ring sum or
modulo 2
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Block Code
• Data is matrix multiplied* by a pre-defined matrix to generate parity
check bits, which are appended to data and then transmitted
• Hamming code example: Matrix multiply* a 4-bit code value by this 7,4
matrix G to produce a 7 bit message. Any 1 bit error position will be
indicated by matrix multiplication of the received 7 bit value with the
matrix H. The three bits of the result, if non-zero, are the binary value of
the position of the single bit error.
• more than 1 bit error is detected but not correctable
* Ring sum or
modulo 2
• To “matrix multiply” a 4 bit binary code by the G matrix, compute 7
different bit values. The first bit is found by first multiplying* each of the
4 data bits respectively by the four bits in the first row, and then adding*
the four products. The second bit is computed the same way, using the
second row of G, and so on.
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• In many circumstances, communication signals are
physically accessible to unauthorized persons
– Particularly in cellular and PCS radio, microwave radio, and in some wire
transmission systems
• Encryption (a reversible modification of the information,
before transmission via the non-secure environment) is
becoming much more important for the general
telecommunication user in contrast to previous use mainly
for military and diplomatic communication
• Most authentication algorithms depend upon the person (or
equipment) in question using an encryption “key” value,
known only to authorized persons, in an encryption process
to prove they are the authentic source of certain information
• Here are a few significant facts about encryption:
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Vernam and Vignière
• Gilbert S. Vernam, an AT&T engineer working with
teletypewriters during WW I, developed the modern
binary encryption method called a running binary mask
(or key) cipher
• A random-appearing binary bit stream is “added*” to
the transmitted binary bit stream data before
transmission in an non-secure environment. *Addition
is modulo-2, or XOR.
• A duplicate properly synchronized random- appearing
bit stream is “subtracted*” modulo-2 from the received
bit stream, in a secure environment.
• This is a binary version of an earlier alphabetic cipher
method invented in the 17th century by the French
diplomat, Vignière
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GSM Radio Encryption
Representative cellular/PCS encryption process
encryption mask from algorithm A8
Um radio
information bits. Certain data bits
used for synchronization, etc., are
not encrypted.
11001100 information bits
+10101010 mask
01100110 result seen at Um
+10101010 mask again
11001100 info restored
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replica of
Locally generated and properly
synchronized copy of encryption
mask, also generated by algorithm A8
Note that there is no “carry” done
with the XOR binary “addition” example.
©1997-2003, R.Levine
The Difficult and Nice Parts
Difficult things to do:
• Producing a running mask binary bit pattern
which cannot be calculated or discovered by an
interceptor (the “enemy” or the “competition”)
because it appears to be random, not periodic
• Maintain proper synchronization between the
running mask at the transmitter and the receiver
Nice properties:
• A single bit error in the transmission channel
produces only a single bit error in the result
– Unlike “block” ciphers (example: NIST Data Encryption
Standard), which produces errors in all the bits in a block of 64
due to one channel bit error.
Page 38; Rev.2.1
©1997-2003, R.Levine
Public Policy Issues
• The US, Canadian, British and some other governments have
already legally restricted the use of encryption to some
– US, Canadian export of encryption technology is restricted
• Divergent objectives of private manufacturers of encryption
equipment vs. government desire to keep strong encryption
technology out of the hands of enemy states, criminals or
other undesirable users, have produced conflict. US
government desires to restrict the sale and use of encryption
domestically, and require only encryption methods which
have “escrow” storage of secret keys, accessible to law
enforcement agencies under a court order.
• Attempt to compel use of a government devised “Clipper”
encryption chip was abandoned after flaws in its design were
discovered. Many observers also objected to this for other
reasons as well.
Page 39; Rev.2.1
©1997-2003, R.Levine
Recent Government Policy Shift
• In 1999, the US Government agreed for the first time to
allow export of cryptographic technology which uses long
secret keys (more than 128 binary bits.)
– Length of the key is significant, because this controls the quantity of
different key values that must be evaluated when using a powerful
computer as a “brute force” tool to determine the correct key.
• Previous US-Canada policy usually blocked cryptography
export under ITAR (International Trade in Arms Restriction)
– Critics pointed out that non-US suppliers of cryptography had good
products too, and were not prevented from selling world wide!
– FBI and other police organizations still want a “back door” to
commercial encryption processes under court order to defeat criminal
– An important topic where technology and public policy intersect.
Page 40; Rev.2.1
©1997-2003, R.Levine
• This completes the prepared lectures
in this course.
• I hope that this gave you an
understanding of how the technology
underlying various
telecommunications systems works
• The purpose of your term paper is to
give you more practice in researching
a topic of interest to yourself and
learning more about it.
• Please stay in touch if you have
questions or comments at any time in
the future.
Page 41; Rev.2.1
©1997-2003, R.Levine

Addl6302 Technology - Lyle School of Engineering