Robust Non-Linear Feedback Coding via Power-Constrained Deep Learning

Junghoon Kim, Taejoon Kim, David Love, Christopher Brinton

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The design of codes for feedback-enabled communications has been a long-standing open problem. Recent research on non-linear, deep learning-based coding schemes have demonstrated significant improvements in communication reliability over linear codes, but are still vulnerable to the presence of forward and feedback noise over the channel. In this paper, we develop a new family of non-linear feedback codes that greatly enhance robustness to channel noise. Our autoencoder-based architecture is designed to learn codes based on consecutive blocks of bits, which obtains de-noising advantages over bit-by-bit processing to help overcome the physical separation between the encoder and decoder over a noisy channel. Moreover, we develop a power control layer at the encoder to explicitly incorporate hardware constraints into the learning optimization, and prove that the resulting average power constraint is satisfied asymptotically. Numerical experiments demonstrate that our scheme outperforms state-of-the-art feedback codes by wide margins over practical forward and feedback noise regimes, and provide information-theoretic insights on the behavior of our non-linear codes. Moreover, we observe that, in a long blocklength regime, canonical error correction codes are still preferable to feedback codes when the feedback noise becomes high. Our code is available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16599-16618
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of Machine Learning Research
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes
Event40th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2023 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: Jul 23 2023Jul 29 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Statistics and Probability


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