``Note: Correction to the 1997 Tutorial on Reed-Solomon Coding''

James S. Plank, Ying Ding

Software, Practice & Experience, Volume 35, Issue 2, February, 2005, pp. 189-194.

For a precursor to this paper, please read Technical Report CS-03-504

Procedures for Reed-Solomon Coding

Please see http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~plank/plank/gflib/ for an implementation of Galois-Field arithmetic in GF(2^8) and GF(2^16), and for Reed-Solomon coding as described in this paper.


In 1997, SPE published a tutorial by Plank on implementing Reed-Solomon codes for erasure correction in redundant data storage systems. The motivation of this tutorial was to present these codes, which are typically described mathematically by coding theorists, in a way accessible to the programmers who need to implement them. The tutorial as published presented an information dispersal matrix A, which does not have the properties claimed -- that the deletion of any m rows results in an invertable n*n matrix. The purpose of this note is to present a correct information dispersal matrix that has the desired properties, and to put the work in current context.

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