Coding Theory: A General Framework and Two Inverse Problems

TitleCoding Theory: A General Framework and Two Inverse Problems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBortolussi L, Dinu LP, Franzoi L, Sgarro A
JournalFundamenta Informaticae

We put forward an ample framework for coding based on upper probabilities, or more generally on normalized monotone set-measures, and model accordingly noisy transmission channels and decoding errors. Two inverse problems are considered. In the first case, a decoder is given and one looks for channels of a specified family over which that decoder would work properly. In the second and more ambitious case, it is codes which are given, and one looks for channels over which those codes would ensure the required error correction capabilities. Upper probabilities allow for a solution of the two inverse problems in the case of usual codes based on checking Hamming distances between codewords: one can equivalently check suitable upper probabilities of the decoding errors. This soon extends to “odd” codeword distances for DNA strings as used in DNA word design, where instead, as we prove, not even the first unassuming inverse problem admits of a solution if one insists on channel models based on “usual” probabilities.