Factor graphs

Sheryl Howard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Belief propagation and many algorithms used in digital communications and signal processing are all representations of a more general message-passing algorithm, the sum-product algorithm, operating on factor graphs. This algorithm computes marginals of a global probabilistic function in terms of local functions. The factor graph of a code is a visual expression of this factorization into local probabilistic functions. Aji and McEliece present an equivalent but alternative formulation with their generalized distributive law (GDL). In this chapter we discuss the sum-product algorithm after examining graphical models for probabilistic inference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTrellis and Turbo Coding
PublisherWiley-IEEE Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780471667841
ISBN (Print)0471227552, 9780471227557
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Belief propagation
  • Decoding
  • Markov processes
  • Probabilistic logic
  • Probability
  • Signal processing algorithms
  • Sum product algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Social Sciences


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