# Levenshtein coding

Levenstein coding, or Levenshtein coding, is a universal code encoding the non-negative integers developed by Vladimir Levenshtein.[1][2]

The code of zero is "0"; to code a positive number:

1. Initialize the step count variable C to 1.
2. Write the binary representation of the number without the leading "1" to the beginning of the code.
3. Let M be the number of bits written in step 2.
4. If M is not 0, increment C, repeat from step 2 with M as the new number.
5. Write C "1" bits and a "0" to the beginning of the code.

The code begins:

``` 0 0
1 10
2 110 0
3 110 1
4 1110 0 00
5 1110 0 01
6 1110 0 10
7 1110 0 11
8 1110 1 000
9 1110 1 001
10 1110 1 010
11 1110 1 011
12 1110 1 100
13 1110 1 101
14 1110 1 110
15 1110 1 111
16 11110 0 00 0000
17 11110 0 00 0001
```

To decode a Levenstein-coded integer:

1. Count the number of "1" bits until a "0" is encountered.
2. If the count is zero, the value is zero, otherwise
3. Start with a variable N, set it to a value of 1 and repeat count minus 1 times:
4. Read N bits, prepend "1", assign the resulting value to N

The Levenstein code of a positive integer is always one bit longer than the Elias omega code of that integer. However, there is a Levenstein code for zero, whereas Elias omega coding would require the numbers to be shifted so that a zero is represented by the code for one instead.

## Example code

### Encoding

```void levenshteinEncode(char* source, char* dest)
{
BitWriter bitwriter(dest);
{
if (num == 0)
bitwriter.outputBit(0);
else
{
int c = 0;
BitStack bits;
do {
int m = 0;
for (int temp = num; temp > 1; temp>>=1)  // calculate floor(log2(num))
++m;
for (int i=0; i < m; ++i)
bits.pushBit((num >> i) & 1);
num = m;
++c;
} while (num > 0);
for (int i=0; i < c; ++i)
bitwriter.outputBit(1);
bitwriter.outputBit(0);
while (bits.length() > 0)
bitwriter.outputBit(bits.popBit());
}
}
}
```

### Decoding

```void levenshteinDecode(char* source, char* dest)
{
IntWriter intwriter(dest);
{
int n = 0;
while (bitreader.inputBit())     // potentially dangerous with malformed files.
++n;
int num;
if (n == 0)
num = 0;
else
{
num = 1;
for (int i = 0; i < n-1; ++i)
{
int val = 1;
for (int j = 0; j < num; ++j)
val = (val << 1) | bitreader.inputBit();
num = val;
}
}
intwriter.putInt(num);           // write out the value
}