On cyclic codes of composite length and the minimal distance

Maosheng Xiong

In an interesting paper Professor Cunsheng Ding provided three constructions of cyclic codes of length being a product of two primes. Numerical data shows that many codes from these constructions are best cyclic codes of the same length and dimension over the same finite field. However, not much is known about these codes. In this paper we explain some of the mysteries of the numerical data by developing a general method on cyclic codes of composite length and on estimating the minimal distance. Inspired by the new method, we also provide a general construction of cyclic codes of composite length. Numerical data shows that it produces many best cyclic codes as well. Finally, we point out how these cyclic codes can be used to construct convolutional codes with large free distance.

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