Reliability-output Decoding of Tail-biting Convolutional Codes

Adam R. Williamson, Matthew J. Marshall, Richard D. Wesel

We present extensions to Raghavan and Baum's reliability-output Viterbi algorithm (ROVA) to accommodate tail-biting convolutional codes. These tail-biting reliability-output algorithms compute the exact word-error probability of the decoded codeword after first calculating the posterior probability of the decoded tail-biting codeword's starting state. One approach employs a state-estimation algorithm that selects the maximum a posteriori state based on the posterior distribution of the starting states. Another approach is an approximation to the exact tail-biting ROVA that estimates the word-error probability. A comparison of the computational complexity of each approach is discussed in detail. The presented reliability-output algorithms apply to both feedforward and feedback tail-biting convolutional encoders. These tail-biting reliability-output algorithms are suitable for use in reliability-based retransmission schemes with short blocklengths, in which terminated convolutional codes would introduce rate loss.

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