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Open Access

Improved Max-Log-MAP Turbo Decoding by Maximization of Mutual Information Transfer

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:212018

Received: 1 October 2003

Published: 15 May 2005


The demand for low-cost and low-power decoder chips has resulted in renewed interest in low-complexity decoding algorithms. In this paper, a novel theoretical framework for improving the performance of turbo decoding schemes that use the max-log-MAP algorithm is proposed. This framework is based on the concept of maximizing the transfer of mutual information between the component decoders. The improvements in performance can be achieved by using optimized iteration-dependent correction weights to scale the a priori information at the input of each component decoder. A method for the offline computation of the correction weights is derived. It is shown that a performance which approaches that of a turbo decoder using the optimum MAP algorithm can be achieved, while maintaining the advantages of low complexity and insensitivity to input scaling inherent in the max-log-MAP algorithm. The resulting improvements in convergence of the turbo decoding process and the expedited transfer of mutual information between the component decoders are illustrated via extrinsic information transfer (EXIT) charts.

Keywords and phrases:

turbo decodingmax-log-MAPcorrection weightsEXIT chartsmutual information

Authors’ Affiliations

Signals & Systems Group, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Swindon, UK


© Claussen et al. 2005