[Haskell-cafe] ANN: fountain-0.0.0

David Leimbach leimy2k at gmail.com
Wed Oct 20 11:33:41 EDT 2010

2 things.

1. Wow that's cool.

2. Is this technology not patented by Digital Fountain?  (now Qualcomm?)

I remember when I first heard of fountain codecs, I thought it was science
fiction based on the description :-).


On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 8:00 PM, Tom Hawkins <tomahawkins at gmail.com> wrote:

> This library [1] implements a fountain code [2].  Fountain codes are
> forward error correction codes for erasure channels [3].  A fountain
> code encodes a message into an infinite stream of packets --
> transmitters generate message packets at random, on-the-fly.  To
> reconstruct the message, receivers simply need to capture enough
> packets for the decoding process.  As a rateless code, fountain codes
> automatically adapt to varying channel conditions.
> Some of the more interesting applications of fountain codes include
> unsynchronized data broadcast and distributed download.  For example,
> a multiple number of devices can transmitting content to multiple
> receivers without any coordination.  Because packets are generated at
> random, receivers increase their bandwidth simply by listening to more
> transmitters.  Note that receivers can also start generating packets
> and forwarding the message on even before they have decoded the
> complete message.
> This library provides a packet generator and a decoder for one of the
> first known fountain codes: LT codes [4].  It also includes a test
> function to experiment with message lengths, and encoding degrees --
> it runs a simulation to determine the number of packets needed to
> decode a message.
> -Tom
> [1] http://hackage.haskell.org/package/fountain
> [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_code
> [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_erasure_channel
> [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LT_codes
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