Preparata code

Preparata code

In coding theory, the Preparata codes form a class of non-linear double-error-correcting codes. They are named after Franco P. Preparata who first described them in 1968.


Let m be an odd number, and n = 2m − 1. We first describe the extended Preparata code of length 2n + 2 = 2m + 1: the Preparata code is then derived by deleting one position. The words of the extended code are regarded as pairs (XY) of 2m-tuples, each corresponding to subsets of the finite field GF(2m) in some fixed way.

The extended code contains the words (XY) satisfying three conditions

  1. X, Y each have even weight;
  2. \sum_{x \in X} x = \sum_{y \in Y} y;
  3. \sum_{x \in X} x^3 + \left(\sum_{x \in X} x\right)^3 = \sum_{y \in Y} y^3.

The Peparata code is obtained by deleting the position in X corresponding to 0 in GF(2m).


The Preparata code is of length 2m+1 − 1, size 2k where k = 2m + 1 − 2m − 2, and minimum distance 5.

When m = 3, the Preparata code of length 15 is also called the Nordstrom–Robinson code.


  • F.P. Preparata (1968). "A class of optimum nonlinear double-error-correcting codes". Information and Control 13 (4): 378–400. doi:10.1016/S0019-9958(68)90874-7. 
  • J.H. van Lint (1992). Introduction to Coding Theory. GTM. 86 (2nd ed.). Springer-Verlag. pp. 111–113. ISBN 3-540-54894-7.