Error Correcting Codes
The identification number schemes we discussed in the previous chapter give us the ability to determine if an error has been made in recording or transmitting information. However, they are limited in two ways. First, the types of errors detected are fairly restrictive, e.g. single digit errors or interchanging digits. Second, they provide no way to recover the intended information. Some more sophisticated ideas and mathematical concepts enable methods to encoding and transmit information in ways that allow both detection and correction of errors. There are many applications of these so-called error correcting codes, among them transmission of digital images from planetary probes and playing compact discs and DVD movies.