There are two basic methods of error control for communication, both involving coding of the messages. With forward error correction, the codes are used to detect and correct errors. In a repeat request system, the codes are used to detect errors and, if there are errors, request a retransmission. Error detection is usually much simpler to implement than error correction and is widely used. However, it is given a very cursory treatment in almost all textbooks on coding theory. Only a few older books are devoted to error detecting codes. This book begins with a short introduction to the theory of block codes with emphasis on the parts important for error detection. The weight distribution is particularly important for this application and is treated in more detail than in most books on error correction. A detailed account of the known results on the probability of undetected error on the q-ary symmetric channel is also given.
Codes for Error Detection