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List error-correction algorithms and applications: A survey

Speaker: Venkatesan Guruswami Carnegie Mellon University
Time: 2009-06-08 14:00-2009-06-08 15:00
Venue: FIT Building 4-603, Tsinghua University


The construction of error-correcting codes that achieve the best possible trade-off between information rate and the amount of errors that can be corrected has been a long sought-after goal. In this talk, I will survey some of our work on list decoding, culminating in the construction of codes with the optimal rate for any desired error-correction radius. I will describe these codes (called folded Reed-Solomon codes), and give a peek into the algebraic ideas underlying their error-correction. The new algorithms correct a factor of two more errors compared to the conventional algorithms currently used in every CD player and desktop PC, as well as many other applications that impact our daily lives.

List decodable codes have also found surprising applications extraneous to coding theory, in algorithms, complexity theory, and cryptography. I will briefly mention some of these, including a recent construction of unbalanced bipartite graphs with near-optimal expansion properties.


Short Bio:

Venkatesan Guruswami received his Bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras in 1997 and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001. He will be an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University starting July 2009. Prior to this, he was a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. Dr. Guruswami was a Miller Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley during 2001-02, and was on leave at the School of mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study during 2007-08.

Dr. Guruswami's research interests span a broad array of topITCS including the theory of error-correcting codes, approximation algorithms and non-approximability results for NP-hard optimization problems, explicit combinatorial constructions and pseudorandomness, probabilistically checkable proofs, computational complexity theory, and algebraic algorithms. He is especially well known for his contributions to the area of list error-correction, parts of which have been featured by NSF and Science magazine.

Dr. Guruswami is a recipient of several awards including the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship (2005), Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2005), NSF CAREER award (2004), ACM's Doctoral Dissertation Award (2002), and the IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award (2000).