Coding for interactive communication correcting insertions and deletions

Mark Braverman, Ran Gelles, Jieming Mao, Rafail Ostrovsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We consider the question of interactive communication, in which two remote parties perform a computation while their communication channel is (adversarially) noisy. We extend here the discussion into a more general and stronger class of noise, namely, we allow the channel to perform insertions and deletions of symbols. These types of errors may bring the parties "out of sync", so that there is no consensus regarding the current round of the protocol. In this more general noise model, we obtain the first interactive coding scheme that has a constant rate and tolerates noise rates of up to 1/18-ϵ. To this end we develop a novel primitive we name edit distance tree code. The edit distance tree code is designed to replace the Hamming distance constraints in Schulman's tree codes (STOC 93), with a stronger edit distance requirement. However, the straightforward generalization of tree codes to edit distance does not seem to yield a primitive that suffices for communication in the presence of synchronization problems. Giving the "right" definition of edit distance tree codes is a main conceptual contribution of this work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2016
EditorsYuval Rabani, Ioannis Chatzigiannakis, Davide Sangiorgi, Michael Mitzenmacher
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959770132
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2016 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 12 Jul 201615 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
ISSN (Print)1868-8969


Conference43rd International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming, ICALP 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Mark Braverman is supported in part by an NSF CAREER award (CCF-1149888), NSF CCF-1215990, a Turing Centenary Fellowship, a Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, and the Simons Collaboration on Algorithms and Geometry. Rafail Ostrovsky is supported in part by NSF grants 09165174, 1065276, 1118126 and 1136174, DARPA, US-Israel BSF grant 2008411, OKAWA Foundation Research Award, IBM Faculty Research Award, Xerox Faculty Research Award, B. John Garrick Foundation Award, Teradata Research Award, and Lockheed-Martin Corporation Research Award. The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government


  • Coding
  • Edit distance
  • Interactive communication


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