Using Cantor Sets for Error Detection

Publication Type:

Journal Article


PeerJ Computer Science 5:e171 (2019)



Error detection is a fundamental need in most computer networks and communication systems in order to combat the effect of noise. Error detection techniques have also been incorporated with lossless data compression algorithms for transmission across communication networks. In this paper, we propose to incorporate a novel error detection scheme into a Shannon optimal lossless data compression algorithm known as Generalized Luröth Series (GLS) coding. GLS-coding is a generalization of the popular Arithmetic Coding which is an integral part of the JPEG2000 standard for still image compression. GLS-coding encodes the input message as a symbolic sequence on an appropriate 1D chaotic map Generalized Luröth Series (GLS) and the compressed file is obtained as the initial value by iterating backwards on the map. However, in the presence of noise, even small errors in the compressed file leads to catastrophic decoding errors owing to sensitive dependence on initial values, the hallmark of deterministic chaos. In this paper, we first show that repetition codes, the oldest and the most basic error correction and detection codes in literature, actually lie on a Cantor set with a fractal dimension of 1n1n, which is also the rate of the code. Inspired by this, we incorporate error detection capability to GLS-coding by ensuring that the compressed file (initial value on the chaotic map) lies on a Cantor set. Even a 1-bit error in the initial value will throw it outside the Cantor set, which can be detected while decoding. The rate of the code can be adjusted by the fractal dimension of the Cantor set, thereby controlling the error detection performance.