Error Detection and Correction


What is Error?

Error means a condition when output information is not same as input information. When transmission of digital signals takes place between two systems such as a computer, the transmitted signal is combined with the "Noise". The noise can introduce an error in the binary bits travelling from one system to other. That means 0 may change to 1 or a 1 may change to 0.


Error Detecting codes

Whenever a message is transmitted then there are changes that it get scrambled by noise or data gets corrupted. When we add some additional data to a given digital message which can help us to detect if an error occurred during transmission of the message then adding such data is called an error-detecting code. A simple example of error-detecting code is parity check.

Error Correcting codes

Along with Error detecting code, we can also pass some data which help to figure out the original message from the corrupt message that we received. This type of code is called an error-correcting code. Error correcting codes also deploys the same strategy as error detecting codes but additionally, such codes also detects the exact location of corrupt bit. In error correcting code, parity check has simple way to detect error along with a sophisticated mechanism to determine the corrupt bit location. Once corrupt bit is located, its value is reverted (from 0 to 1 or 1 to 0)to get the original message.

How to detect and correct errors?

  • For the detection and correction of these errors, one or more than one extra bits are added to the data bits at the time transmitting.

  • These extra bits are called as parity bits. They allow detection or correction of the errors.

  • The data bits along with the parity bits form a code word.

Parity checking of error detection

It is a simplest technique for detecting and correcting error. In the MSB of an 8-bits word is used as the parity bit and the remaining 7 bits are used as data or message bits. The parity of 8-bits transmitted word can be either even parity or odd parity.

Parity Check

Even parity -- Even parity means the number of 1's in the given word including the parity bit should be even (2,4,6,....).

Odd parity -- Odd parity means the number of 1's in the given word including the parity bit should be odd (1,3,5,....).

Use of Parity Bit

  • The parity bit can be set to 0 and 1 depending on the type of the parity required.

  • For even parity this bit is set to 1 or 0 such that the no. of "1 bits" in the entire word is even. Show in the fig. (a).

  • For odd parity this bit is set to 1 or 0 such that the no. of "1 bits" in the entire word is odd. Show in the fig. (b).

Parity Usage

How does error detection take place?

The parity checking at the receiver can detect the presence of an error if the parity of the receiver signal is different from the expect parity. That means if is known that the parity of the transmitted signal is always going to be "even" and if the received signal has an odd parity then the receiver can conclude that the received signal is not correct. If presence of error is detected then the receiver will ignore the received byte and request for retransmission of the same byte to the transmitter.

Error detection