Parity check

Parity-check matrix

In coding theory, a parity-check matrix of a linear block code C is a generator matrix of the dual code. As such, a codeword c is in C if and only if the matrix-vector product HTc=0.

The rows of a parity check matrix are parity checks on the codewords of a code. That is, they show how linear combinations of certain digits of each codeword equal zero. For example, the parity check matrix

H =



specifies that for each codeword, digits 1 and 2 should sum to zero and digits 3 and 4 should sum to zero.

For more information see Hamming code and generator matrix.

Creating a parity check matrix

The parity check matrix for a given code can be derived from its generator matrix (and vice-versa). If the generator matrix for an [n,k]-code in standard form is
G = begin{bmatrix} I_k | P end{bmatrix}

the parity check matrix can be calculated as

H = begin{bmatrix} -P^T | I_{n-k} end{bmatrix}
Negation is performed in the finite field mod q. Note that this means in binary codes negation is unnecessary as -1 = 1 (mod 2).

For example, if a binary code has the generator matrix

G =
begin{bmatrix} 10|101 01|110 end{bmatrix}

The parity check matrix becomes

H =
begin{bmatrix} 11|100 01|010 10|001 end{bmatrix}

For any valid codeword x, Hx = 0. For any invalid codeword tilde{x}, the syndrome S satisfies Htilde{x} = S.


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