Improved decoding of staircase codes: the soft-aided bit-marking (SABM) algorithm

Yi Lei (Corresponding author), Bin Chen, Gabriele Liga, Xiong Deng, Zizeng Cao, Jianqiang Li, Kun Xu, Alex Alvarado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
144 Downloads (Pure)


Staircase codes (SCCs) are typically decoded using iterative bounded-distance decoding (BDD) and hard decisions. In this paper, a novel decoding algorithm is proposed, which partially uses soft information from the channel. The proposed algorithm is based on marking certain number of highly reliable and highly unreliable bits. These marked bits are used to improve the miscorrection-detection capability of the SCC decoder and the error-correcting capability of BDD. For SCCs with 2-error-correcting Bose-Chaudhuri-Hocquenghem component codes, our algorithm improves upon standard SCC decoding by up to 0.30 dB at a bit-error rate (BER) of 10-7. The proposed algorithm is shown to achieve almost half of the gain achievable by a genie decoder with this structure. The increased complexity caused by bit marking and additional calls to the component BDD decoder is discussed as well. Our algorithm is also extended (with minor modifications) to product codes. The simulation results show that in this case, the algorithm offers gains of up to 0.5 dB at a BER of 10-7

Original languageEnglish
Article number8856224
Pages (from-to)8220-8232
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • iterative bounded distance decoding
  • marked bits
  • Optical communication systems
  • product codes
  • staircase codes


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