Viterbi decoder
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
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Viterbi decoder
Ber
Binary Signals
by Krishna Sankar on January 4, 2009
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Coding is a technique where redundancy is added to original bit sequence to increase the reliability of the communication. Lets discuss a simple binary convolutional coding scheme at the transmitter and the associated
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Viterbi (maximum likelihood) decoding scheme at the receiver.
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
Update: For some reason, the blog is unable to display the article which discuss both Convolutional coding and Viterbi decoding. As a work around, the article was broken upto into two posts.
This post descrbes the Viterbi decoding algorithm for a simple Binary Convolutional Code with rate 1/2,
constraint length
code, please refer to the post – Convolutional code
and having generator polynomial
. For more details on the Binary convolutional
Viterbi algorithm
As explained in Chapter 5.1.4 of Digital Communications by John Proakis for optimal decoding for a modulation
scheme with memory (as is the case here), if there are combinations. This becomes prohibitively complex as
landmark paper Error bounds for convolutional codes and an asymptotically optimum decoding algorithm, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 13(2):260–269, April 1967 described a scheme for reducing the complexity to more managable levels. Some of the key assumptions are as follows:
coded bits, we need to search from
possible
becomes large. However, Mr. Andrew J Viterbi in his
(a) As shown in Table 1 and Figure 2 (in the article Convoutional Code) any state can be reached from only 2
possible previous state.
(b) Though we reach each state from 2 possible states, only one of the transition in valid. We can find the
transition which is more likely (based on the received coded bits) and ignore the other transition.
(c) The errors in the received coded sequence are randomly distributed and the probability of error is small.
Based on the above assumptions, the decoding scheme proceed as follows: Assume that there are
Take two coded bits at a time for processing and compute Hamming distance, Branch Metric, Path Metric
and Survivor Path index for
coded bits.
times. Let
be the index varying from 1 till
Hamming Distance Computation
For decoding, consider two received coded bits at a time
possible combinations of two bits. The number of differing bits can be computed by XORing 11 and then counting the number of ones.
and compute the Hamming distance between all
with 00, 01, 10,
is the number of 1′s in 

is the number of 1′s in 

is the number of 1′s in 

is the number of 1′s in 

Branch Metric and Path Metric Computation
As stated prior, each state can be reached from two possible states (shown by red and blue lines respectively). Branch metric is the sum of the path metric of the previous state and the hamming distance required for the transition. From the two avaiable branch metrices, the one with minimum branch metric value is chosen. This operation is also referred to as Add Compare and Select (ACS) unit.
Note:
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http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
1. Typically, Convolutional coder always starts from State 00. The Viterbi decoder also assumes the same.
2. For index
computed. In this case, path metric for each state is equal to branch metric as the other branch is not valid.
= 1, branch metric for State 00 (from State 00) branch and State 10 (from State 00) can only be
3. For index
State 00) and State 11 (from State 10) can only be computed. In this case too, path metric for each state is equal to branch metric as the other branch is not valid.
= 2, branch metric for State 00 (from State 00) branch, State 01 (from State 10), State 10 (from
4. Starting from index
=3, each state has two branches and the need to do Add Compare and Select arises.
5. Its possible that two branch metrices might have the same value. In that scenario, we can chose one among the
the branches and proceed.
Branch Metric and Path Metric computation for Viterbi decoder
Figure: Branch Metric and Path Metric computation for Viterbi decoder
State 00 can be reached from two branches
(a) State 00 with output 00. The branch metric for this transition is,
(b) State 01 with output 11. The branch metric for this transition is,
The path metric for state 00 is chosen based which is minimum out of the two.
The survivor path for state 00 is stored in survivor path metric.
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State 01 can be reached from two branches:
(c) State 10 with output 10. The branch metric for this transition is,
(d) State 11 with output 01. The branch metric for this transition is,
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
The path metric for state 01 is chosen based which is minimum out of the two.
The survivor path for state 01 is stored in survivor path metric.
State 10 can be reached from two branches:
(e) State 00 with output 11. The branch metric for this transition is,
(f) State 01 with output 00. The branch metric for this transition is,
The path metric for state 10 is chosen based which is minimum out of the two.
The survivor path for state 10 is stored in survivor path metric.
State 11 can be reached from two branches:
(g) State 10 with output 01. The branch metric for this transition is,
(h) State 11 with output 10. The branch metric for this transition is,
The path metric for state 11 is chosen based which is minimum out of the two.
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http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
The survivor path for state 11 is stored in survivor path metric.
Traceback Unit
Once the survivor path is computed times, the decoding algorithm can start trying to estimate the
input sequence. Thanks to presence of tail bits (additional Convolutional code is State 00.
zeros) , it is known that the final state following
So, start from the last computed survivor path at index
previous state corresponding to the current state. From the knowledge of current state and previous state, the input sequence can be determined (Ref: Table 2 Input given current state and previous state). Continue tracking back through the survivor path and estimate the input sequence till index = 1.
for State 00. From the survivor path, find the
ip, if
previous
state
current
state
00
01
10
11
00
0
0
x
x
01
x
x
0
0
10
1
1
x
x
11
x
x
1
1
Table 2: Input given current state and previous state
Simulation Model
Octave/Matlab source code for computing the bit error rate for BPSK modulation in AWGN using the convolutional coding and Viterbi decoding is provided. Refer to the post on Bit Error Rate (BER) for BPSK modulation for signal and channel model.
Note: Since 2 coded bits are required for transmission of each data bit, the relation between coded bits to noise
ratio with bits to noise ratio is
The simulation model performs the following:
(a) 
Generation of random BPSK modulated symbols +1’s and 1’s 
(b) 
Convolutionally encode them using rate 1/2, generator polynomial [7,5] octal code 
(c) 
Passing them through Additive White Gaussian Noise channel 
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(d) 
Hard decision demodulation on the received coded symbols 
(e) 
Received coded bits are passed to Viterbi decoder 
(f) 
Counting the number of errors from the output of Viterbi decoder 
(g) 
Repeating the same for multiple Eb/No value. 
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
Click here to download Matlab/Octave script for computing BER with Binary Convolutional code and Viterbi decodig for BPSK modulation in AWGN channel
Figure 3: BER plot for BPSK modulation in AWGN channel with Binary Convolutional code and hard decision Viterbi decoding
Observations
1. For lower
regions, the error rate with Viterbi decoding is higher uncoded bit error rate. This is because,
values, there
Viterbi decoder prefers the error to be randomly distributed for it work effectively. At lower
are more chances of multiple received coded bits in errors, and the Viterbi algorithm is unable to recover.
2. There can be further optimizations like – using soft decision decoding, limiting the traceback length etc. Those can be discussed in future posts.
References
Tutorial on Convolutional Coding with Viterbi Decoding – Mr. Chip Fleming
Digital Communications by John Proakis
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http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
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Tagged as: AWGN, BPSK, Viterbi
Related posts
1. Viterbi with finite survivor state memory
2. Soft Input Viterbi decoder
3. Convolutional code
4. Matlab or C for Viterbi Decoder?
5. Hamming (7,4) code with hard decision decoding
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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }
1 Lealem January 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm
Hello! Kirishna Thank you for ur matlab script Concerning convolutional coding. Do u have a matlab script which is used to simulate convolutional coded OFDM? an do u have also matlab script of convolutional coding that use a soft decision decoding algorithm? Thank you!!!
Reply
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http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
2 Krishna Pillai January 13, 2009 at 5:31 am
@Lealem: Thanks. Sorry, I have not yet written posts on using convolutional coding with OFDM. Maybe once I discuss interleaver, I will add a post on it. I am writing a post on soft decision decoding, I just finished the simulation model.
Reply
3 Lealem January 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm
Thank you! Kirishna what can i do to write a simulation of convolutionaly coded QAM, QPSK,16QAM and 64QAM signals and also Trellis coded MOdulation? Thanks
Reply
4 detito April 24, 2010 at 11:44 pm
Hey Krishna, I am writing a Viterbi decoding algorithm for a simple Binary Convolutional Code with rate 1/3, constraint length K=5, and having generator polynomial G=(25,33,37) in matlab . Can you please help.
Reply
5 Krishna Sankar April 27, 2010 at 5:19 am
@detito: Hopefully, the code in this post can help you as a reference.
Reply
6 Sandeep January 10, 2009 at 10:41 pm
Hi Krishna Thanks for article on viterbi.I would like further articles discussing 1> The following assumption :The errors in the received coded sequence are randomly distributed and the probability of error is small. 2> How you decide about traceback length? We can’t wait for all the input to be arrive before starting traceback. 3> For 11n what type of architecture is used for high throughput? Regards
Reply
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7 Krishna Pillai January 13, 2009 at 5:40 am
@Sandeep: Thanks. My replies:
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
1. If you recall, the decoding complexity is reduced in Viterbi algorithm by assuming that each state
can be reached from only two possible states and only one of them is valid. However, if there are burst errors (or if the probability of error is high) then the above assumption becomes invalid. So, when we traceback we might not be able to decode correctly.
2. For the current simulation, I assumed that we wait till the end of all the coded bits to start
traceback. As you said, in typical systems, we do not do that. We typically start the traceback much
before. I will write a post on traceback length.
3. The Viterbi algorithm described in the post takes two coded bits and gives one data bit per
iteration. However, we can write the transition table to take four coded bits and give out 2 data bits
per iteration. This architecture allows one with a clock frequency limited system to have a higher throughput at the expense of extra hardware.
Hope this helps.
Reply
8 Lealem January 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm
Hello! kirishna what can i do to write a simulation of convolutionaly coded QAM, QPSK,16QAM and 64QAM signals and also Trellis coded MOdulation?if u have a matlab code please try to provide me. Thanks
Reply
9 Krishna Pillai January 24, 2009 at 7:41 am
@Lealem: Trellis coded modulation – not yet. Hope to write soon.
Reply
10 Ricky January 27, 2009 at 7:09 pm
can i get the vhdl code for k=7 and the inputs being 171 and 133 octal, with the rate=1/2
Reply
11 Krishna Pillai January 28, 2009 at 6:03 am
@Ricky: Sorry, we mostly discuss Matlab modeling here.
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12 Dhruv April 10, 2009 at 10:41 am
hey man i am looking for the same did you get it???
Reply
13 Lealem February 10, 2009 at 7:15 pm
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
hello!Kirishina u did it for BPSk modulation but how can i write a matlab code when the modulation is changed to QAM, QPSK ,16QAM and 64QAM? Thank you!
Reply
14 scorswiss February 17, 2009 at 12:33 pm
Hello Krishna, I want to develop a verification environment in Verilog for Viterbi decoder. I want a tested C model or Verilog model for the same.From where can I get it?
Reply
15 Krishna Pillai February 21, 2009 at 7:29 am
@scorswiss: In the posts I have provided a Matlab code for soft decision and hard decision Viterbi decoder for the rate 1/2 K=3 convolutional encoder. Maybe you can convert that to C and use.
Reply
16 setareh August 16, 2009 at 6:04 pm
hello , I am also looking for matlab code for k=3 and r=1/2 , I am writing VHDL code for it I cant find the code you post it for matlab could you tell me where exactly I can find it thank you in advance
Reply
17 Krishna Sankar August 18, 2009 at 3:48 am
@setareh: The URL for the code is provided just above the BER plot.
Reply
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18 scorswiss February 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
Hi Krishna, Thanks for the reply. I am still facing an issue in the encoder part When the bits are convolutionally coded, the coded bits together with the uncoded bits are mapped to a space to generate symbols. Till this point we deal wih the digital bitstream,but when this bitstream passes through the channel, AWGN noise(whose value is between 0 and 1 eg: 0.8)is added which is analog in nature. The problem is how to add analog noise to digital stream.Is it through D/A and A/D converters or quantization concept or the AWGN output is converted to digital stream?
Reply
19 Krishna Pillai February 27, 2009 at 6:01 am
@scorswiss: The AWGN noise (which can theoreticall be from inf to +inf) is added between the DA/ and A/D. If I may the chain will be as follows:
Bits > convolutional coded bits > constellation mapping > filtering > D/A –> Add Noise –> A/D –> constellation to bits > Viterbi decoding
Alternatively we can use Soft decision decoding:
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/14/softviterbi/
Bits > convolutional coded bits > constellation mapping > filtering > D/A –> Add Noise –> A/D –> soft decision Viterbi decoding
Hope this helps.
Reply
20 Allyson March 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm
Hi,
I use the Matlab function (bercoding) to simulate the codedAWGNBER. and for the decoding and encoding method I use matlab function as well (vitdec and convenc)… My simulated result is near to uncodedAWGNBER but not near to codedAWGN. Why is it so?
Reply
21 Krishna Pillai March 21, 2009 at 8:24 am
@Allyson: Quite likely a power normalization issue.
Reply
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22 Allyson March 16, 2009 at 1:27 pm
Hi,
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
It’s me again…. I hope to see the explanation on the soft decoding which can improve the situation.
Thanks.
Reply
23 Krishna Pillai March 21, 2009 at 8:26 am
@Allyson: You may refer to the post @
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/14/softviterbi/
Reply
24 ahamed March 21, 2009 at 8:43 pm
Hi krishna I am doing viterbi decoder in verilog can you tell me from where i can get a code for reference
Reply
25 Krishna Pillai March 25, 2009 at 5:42 am
@ahmed: You may check
http://home.netcom.com/%7Echip.f/viterbi/fecbiblio.html
Reply
26 chintu March 30, 2009 at 2:38 am
Hi I want to know for R=1/2 K=7 convolutional code which generator matrix is best. Please tell me how can I get the answer. Also I want to simulate convolutional coding with FSK. Please tell me how to do it.
Reply
27 Krishna Pillai April 4, 2009 at 8:54 am
@chintu: My replies:
(1) From looking at the Table 8.2.1 in Digital Communications, Proakis, find that for K=7, the
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http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
generator polynomial is {133,171}_octal. I think, reasearchers long back have tried simulating with different generator polynomails and the table listed in the book lists the best for each constraint length and rate combination.
(2) I have written a post on BER with FSK
http://www.dsplog.com/2007/08/30/biterrorrateforfrequencyshiftkeyingwithcoherent
demodulation/ Hope it should be reasonably easy for you to add convolutional coding + viterbi decoding to that script.
Reply
28 chintu April 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm
The generator matrix for the optimal code for above query if given a different value in Lin and costello ” error control coding” which is (117, 155) octal.Please clarify.
Also how do I implement this R=1/2 K=7 convolution code in your convolution coding(r=1/2,k=3) script as it is designed for K=3 and can’t be generalized for K=7. Please post a generalized script.
Reply
29 Krishna Pillai April 11, 2009 at 6:20 am
@chintu: My objective was to provide an example code for Viterbi decoder to help understand the concept. Am reasonably sure that once you understand the concept, the reader can easily extended to other cases. Good luck in your project work.
Reply
30 Zeeshan Sattar June 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm
Superb Explanation. Thumbs Up bro
Reply
31 Krishna Pillai June 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm
@Zeeshan Sattar: Thanks pal.
Reply
32 einstein July 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm
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What changes should I make for k=5, r=1/3 decoder?
Reply
33 Krishna Pillai July 6, 2009 at 5:51 pm
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
@einstein: For k=1/5, r=1/3 the state transitions change. The branch metric and path metric computations needs to be changed accordingly.
Reply
34 arun August 9, 2009 at 8:18 pm
Hi krishna, Can you give the list of generator polynomials for various constraints lengths. Ex: k=7 the Generator poly is 133 ,171
Reply
35 Krishna Sankar August 11, 2009 at 4:48 am
@arun: You may check the Chapter 8.2.5 in Digital Communications by John Proakis. That chapter has a list of generator polynomials for various code rates from 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8 … for constraint length from K=3 to K=14.
Reply
36 arun August 9, 2009 at 8:20 pm
Hi, Can you give me the best generator polynomials for various constraint lengths.
Reply
37 Krishna Sankar August 11, 2009 at 4:48 am
@arun: You may check the Chapter 8.2.5 in Digital Communications by John Proakis. That chapter has a list of generator polynomials for various code rates from 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8 … for constraint length from K=3 to K=14.
Reply
38 fateme September 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm
Hi kirishna
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What can i do to write a simulation of Space Time Trellis code ? if u have a matlab code please try to provide me. Best Regards Fateme
Reply
39 Krishna Sankar September 8, 2009 at 5:21 am
@fateme: Sorry, I have not tried modeling space time trellis code.
Reply
40 amudhan October 30, 2009 at 11:34 am
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
can u send the vhdl and verilog coding for lowlatency lowcomplexity architectres for viterbi decoder
Reply
41 Krishna Sankar November 8, 2009 at 8:06 am
@amudhan: sorry, i do not have vhdl/verilog code.
Reply
42 Neo Cambel November 25, 2009 at 11:37 pm
Excellent tutorial. Thanks a lot. BR, Neo
Reply
43 Hyunjin.Jang November 26, 2009 at 10:36 pm
It’s difficult to viterbi… Help me, mt graduation of thesis. Image(photo) processing/ Simulation to C++
Reply
44 Krishna Sankar December 7, 2009 at 4:42 am
@Hyunjin.Jang: Hope this post helps. Good luck.
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45 Harish December 4, 2009 at 3:05 am
http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
Hi,
In your code I see that the survivor path metric index you have calculated as minimum of the 2 paths. Some thing like this case I : says idx case II; you say it is idx+2.
I don’t understand this. What would it be if I am using 8PSK with 8 states ? I am not able to arrive at the idx thing for storing the path index. Could you please help me with that ?
Thanks,
Harish
Reply
46 Krishna Sankar December 7, 2009 at 5:11 am
@Harish: Well, I have assumed BPSK in this simulation. Even if you are using BPSK, I believe you might be passing on the received hard decision bits to the Viterbi decoder. So the underlying path metrics computation should still hold good. Agree?
Reply
47 sujata.kamlapur April 10, 2010 at 9:26 am
hi sir
i am a mtech student
here in this project 1st we extract the hand writing features and then should build the HMM model, after this we use viterbi algorithm for recognition and baumwelch alogrithm for training. so please can u help me in viterbi algorithm part…….?
and i’m working on d project hand writing recognition using hidden markov model.
Reply
48 Krishna Sankar April 14, 2010 at 5:02 am
@sujata.kamlapur: Does the Viterbi decoder code provided in this post help?
Reply
49 Keshav Kishore Jha April 23, 2010 at 11:34 pm
Hi Krishna,
Thanks for your post.
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http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
I need your help in implementing this code when channel is AWGN+Rayleigh fading.
Kindly help me to tell what modifications are required in this program for soft decoding.
….
Keshav
Reply
50 Krishna Sankar April 27, 2010 at 5:26 am
@Keshav Kishore Jha: Need to have a multiplicative noise to model the Rayleigh channel. You may refer to examples @ http://www.dsplog.com/tag/rayleigh/
Reply
51 guzeltayyar October 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm
Hi Krishna,
Appreciate your efforts in the first place.
I have a question for you
nongaussian noise cases
maximum likelihood distance metric to enhance my decoder performance against impulsice noise
I would like to replace the Euclidean distance with another metric for for instance, I would like to use alphapenalty function or known state
how would you go about it?? does it change the way how you compute the soft inputs?? or changing only the distance metric is enough??
have you ever tried another metric for nongaussian noise for your decoder??
thanx in advance,
TayyaR.
Reply
52 Krishna Sankar November 19, 2010 at 5:57 am
@guzeltayyar: I guess, one way is to give less weights to softbits affected by impulse noise. This can be done by scaling down those softbits. I have not tried any metric for nongaussian noise.
Reply
53 Sulav Paudel November 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm
Hi Krishna…………
i am trying to plot the graph of BER vs SNR for bayesian demodulation and QPSK demodulation. I have to analysis the performance for these two techniques. Could you please help me in this matter.
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http://www.dsplog.com/2009/01/04/viterbi/
And, can you help in the matlab code for theoritical and pratical BER for QPSK.
With Regards,
sulav paudel
Reply
54 Krishna Sankar November 17, 2010 at 4:54 am
@Sulav: Hopefully the following post might be of help
a) BER of BPSK in AWGN
http://www.dsplog.com/2007/08/05/biterrorprobabilityforbpskmodulation/
b) Symbol Error rate of QPSK in AWGN
http://www.dsplog.com/2007/11/06/symbolerrorratefor4qam/
Reply
55 Rodrigo Mendoza May 25, 2011 at 9:00 am
amm…… I don`t know why but the code I download from this page doesnt work. nErrViterbi(yy) = size(find([ip ipHat_v(1:N)]),2); the dimensions of ipHat_v are smaller than N Can you tell me how can I resolve this problem I just cant
Reply
56 Krishna Sankar May 26, 2011 at 5:33 am
@Rodrigo: Are you sure? I reran the code. It’s working.
Reply
57 Ajeesh December 31, 2009 at 2:27 pm
Sir,
Reply
58 Ajeesh December 31, 2009 at 2:29 pm
Sir, We want to compute with binary convolutional code of rate=1/2, generator polynomial [171, 133] Octal… Kindly help us pleaseeeeeeeee………
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11/22/2011 9:53 PM
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22 of 22
11/22/2011 9:53 PM
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