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Error Detection in Digital Systems

Mark A. Strain, P.E.

Information theory is a branch of applied mathematics and electrical engineering involving the quantification of information. When Claude Shannon developed information theory in 1948, thus ushering in the information age, he introduced the concept of entropy to information. This entropy or shortage of information in a message is what gives rise to errors in the data. Most communication systems and data storage and processing systems are unreliable to some degree, which means that errors may be introduced in the communications channel or while retrieving data from a memory device. These errors must be controlled.

The purpose of this course is to describe four different error detection techniques and to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. This course describes the parity check method as well as the checksum and cyclic redundancy check (CRC) methods. It describes hash functions and when they should be employed. This course also briefly discusses error correction techniques.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.