Sep 2020
A Numerative Data Compression with Non-Uniquely Decodable Codes

Informatics Institute faculty member Prof. Dr. M. Oğuzhan Külekci and his students Yasin Öztürk, Elif Altunok, and Can Altıniğne's paper titled 'A Numerative Data Compression with Non-Uniquely Decodable Codes' was presented at the '24. Prague Stringology Conference'. The study was carried out wıthin the scope of TUBITAK-1001 project numbered 117E865
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Non-uniquely decodable codes can be defined as the codes that cannot be uniquely decoded without additional disambiguation information. These are mainly the class of non-prefix-free codes, where a codeword can be a prefix of other(s), and thus, the codeword boundary information is essential for correct decoding. Although the codeword bit stream consumes significantly less space when compared to prefix– free codes, the additional disambiguation information makes it difficult to catch the performance of prefix-free codes in total. Previous studies considered compression with non-prefix-free codes by integrating rank/select dictionaries or wavelet trees to mark the code-word boundaries. In this study we focus on another dimension with a block– wise enumeration scheme that improves the compression ratios of the previous studies significantly. Experiments conducted on a known corpus showed that the proposed scheme successfully represents a source within its entropy, even performing better than the Huffman and arithmetic coding in some cases. The non-uniquely decodable codes also provides an intrinsic security feature due to lack of unique-decodability. We inves- tigate this dimension as an opportunity to provide compressed data security without (or with less) encryption, and discuss various possible practical advantages supported by such codes.