Entropies of weighted sums in cyclic groups and an application to polar codes

Emmanuel Abbe, Jiange Li, Mokshay Madiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this note, the following basic question is explored: in a cyclic group, how are the Shannon entropies of the sum and difference of i.i.d. random variables related to each other? For the integer group, we show that they can differ by any real number additively, but not too much multiplicatively; on the other hand, for Z/3Z, the entropy of the difference is always at least as large as that of the sum. These results are closely related to the study of more-sums-than-differences (i.e., MSTD) sets in additive combinatorics. We also investigate polar codes for q-ary input channels using non-canonical kernels to construct the generator matrix and present applications of our results to constructing polar codes with significantly improved error probability compared to the canonical construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


  • Entropy
  • More-sums-than-differences set
  • Polar code


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