Geometric Constellation Shaping for Concatenated Two-Level Multi-Level Codes

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This paper studies a learning approach to geometric shaping (GS) for concatenated two-level multi-level codes (MLC). Unlike standard bit-interleaved coded modulation (BICM), the proposed MLC protects only the least reliable bits (LRBs) by an inner code, and thereby efficiently reduces complexity associated with inner soft-decision (SD) decoding compared to the BICM without performance degradation. We propose a new loss function for training a geometric constellation shape in the proposed MLC, leading to maximization of the achievable rate. More specifically, considering the different coding structures for the most reliable bits (MRBs) and the LRBs, the proposed loss function combines two different functions: the union bound on a bit error rate (BER) for the MRBs and the generalized mutual information (GMI) for the LRBs. We demonstrate by simulations of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) optical fiber systems that the proposed loss function offers a performance gain over the conventional cross entropy-based loss function. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the proposed MLC with GS outperforms the conventional BICM with GS in terms of a transmission distance, even with significantly lower SD decoding complexity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number16
Pages (from-to)5557-5566
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Adaptive optics
  • Codes
  • Decoding
  • Forward error correction
  • Geometric shaping
  • Multi-level codes
  • Neural network
  • Optical losses
  • Quadrature amplitude modulation
  • Symbols


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