On the hardness of approximating stopping and trapping sets

Andrew McGregor, Olgica Milenkovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We prove that approximating the size of stopping and trapping sets in Tanner graphs of linear block codes, and more restrictively, the class of low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes, is NP-hard. The ramifications of our findings are that methods used for estimating the height of the error-floor of moderate- and long-length LDPC codes, based on stopping and trapping set enumeration, cannot provide accurate worst-case performance predictions for most codes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5437429
Pages (from-to)1640-1650
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes
  • NP hardness
  • Stopping sets
  • Trapping sets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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