Block Code

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What Does Block Code Mean?

In software programming, a block code is used to convert software code or an algorithm into any particular form so that errors, if any, in the code can be minimized. Block code can also be applied in the domains of telecommunications, information theory and coding theory. The main idea is to encode a message for a recipient in such a way that the recipient is able to address errors, if any, in the message with the help of the encoding.


Techopedia Explains Block Code

American mathematician Richard Hamming can claim a lot of credit for pioneering block code in 1950. In fact, one such block code is named “Hamming code” after Hamming.

The main idea behind block codes is to provide the user or recipient of such codes inputs with the help of which the user can address any possible errors in the code without needing to contact the source of the code. In telecommunications, the principle is to encode a message in such a way so that the recipient of the message is able to correct a limited number of errors so as to have minimum acceptability of the message. This action prevents the possibility of retransmission of the message, which wastes time and resources.

There are a number of block code types used, including:

  • Reed-Solomon codes
  • Hamming codes
  • Expander codes
  • Golay codes
  • Hadamard codes
  • Reed-Muller codes

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.