Smoothing of binary codes, uniform distributions, and applications

Madhura Pathegama (UMD)

Sep 28, 2023

The action of a noise operator on a code transforms it into a distribution on the respective space. Some common examples from information theory include Bernoulli noise acting on a code in the Hamming space and Gaussian noise acting on a lattice in the Euclidean space. We aim to characterize the cases when the output distribution is close to the uniform distribution on the space, as measured by Renyi divergence of order . A version of this question is known as the channel resolvability problem in information theory, and it has implications for security guarantees in wiretap channels, error correction, discrepancy, worst-to-average case complexity reductions, and many other problems.

Our work quantifies the requirements for asymptotic uniformity (perfect smoothing) and identifies explicit code families that achieve it under the action of the Bernoulli and ball noise operators on the code. We derive expressions for the minimum rate of codes required to attain asymptotically perfect smoothing. In proving our results, we leverage recent results from harmonic analysis of functions on the Hamming space. Another result pertains to the use of code families in Wyner’s transmission scheme on the binary wiretap channel. We identify explicit families that guarantee strong secrecy when applied in this scheme, showing that nested Reed-Muller codes can transmit messages reliably and securely over a binary symmetric wiretap channel with a positive rate. Finally, we establish a connection between smoothing and error correction in the binary symmetric channel.