CRC or Cyclic Redundancy Check is a method of detecting accidental changes/errors in communication channel.
CRC uses Generator Polynomial which is available on both sender and receiver side. An example generator polynomial is of the form like x3 + x + 1. This generator polynomial represents key 1011. Another example is x2 + 1 that represents key 101.
n : Number of bits in data to be sent from sender side. k : Number of bits in the key obtained from generator polynomial.
Sender Side (Generation of Encoded Data from Data and Generator Polynomial (or Key)):
- The binary data is first augmented by adding k-1 zeros in the end of the data
- Use modulo-2 binary division to divide binary data by the key and store remainder of division.
- Append the remainder at the end of the data to form the encoded data and send the same
Receiver Side (Check if there are errors introduced in transmission)
Perform modulo-2 division again and if remainder is 0, then there are no errors.
In this article we will focus only on finding the remainder i.e. check word and the code word.
Modulo 2 Division:
The process of modulo-2 binary division is the same as the familiar division process we use for decimal numbers. Just that instead of subtraction, we use XOR here.
- In each step, a copy of the divisor (or data) is XORed with the k bits of the dividend (or key).
- The result of the XOR operation (remainder) is (n-1) bits, which is used for the next step after 1 extra bit is pulled down to make it n bits long.
- When there are no bits left to pull down, we have a result. The (n-1)-bit remainder which is appended at the sender side.
Example 1 (No error in transmission):
Data word to be sent - 100100 Key - 1101 [ Or generator polynomial x3 + x2 + 1] Sender Side: Therefore, the remainder is 001 and hence the encoded data sent is 100100001. Receiver Side: Code word received at the receiver side 100100001 Therefore, the remainder is all zeros. Hence, the data received has no error.
Example 2: (Error in transmission)
Data word to be sent - 100100 Key - 1101 Sender Side: Therefore, the remainder is 001 and hence the code word sent is 100100001. Receiver Side Let there be error in transmission media Code word received at the receiver side - 100000001
Below is Python implementation for generating code word from given binary data and key.
Remainder : 001 Encoded Data (Data + Remainder) : 100100001
Note that CRC is mainly designed and used to protect against common of errors on communication channels and NOT suitable protection against intentional alteration of data (See reasons here)
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