Long code (mathematics)

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Math logic
Type Block code
Block length for some
Message length
Alphabet size
Notation -code

In theoretical computer science and coding theory, the long code is an error-correcting code that is locally decodable. Long codes have an extremely poor rate, but play a fundamental role in the theory of hardness of approximation.


Let for be the list of all functions from . Then the long code encoding of a message is the string where denotes concatenation of strings. This string has length .

The Walsh-Hadamard code is a subcode of the long code, and can be obtained by only using functions that are linear functions when interpreted as functions on the finite field with two elements. Since there are only such functions, the block length of the Walsh-Hadamard code is .

An equivalent definition of the long code is as follows: The Long code encoding of is defined to be the truth table of the Boolean dictatorship function on the th coordinate, i.e., the truth table of with .[1] Thus, the Long code encodes a -bit string as a -bit string.


The long code does not contain repetitions, in the sense that the function computing the th bit of the output is different from any function computing the th bit of the output for . Among all codes that do not contain repetitions, the long code has the longest possible output. Moreover, it contains all non-repeating codes as a subcode.