Reed-Muller (RM) code[1][2][3]


Member of the RM\((r,m)\) family of linear binary codes derived from multivariate polynomials. The code parameters are \([2^m,\sum_{j=0}^{r} {m \choose j},2^{m-r}]\), where \(r\) is the order of the code satisfying \(0\leq r\leq m\). Punctured RM codes RM\(^*(r,m)\) are obtained from RM codes by deleting one or more coordinates from each codeword.

Generator matrices of RM codes are constructed using the \((u|u+v)\) construction by starting from the \(2^m\)-dimensional matrix \(F^{(m)}=\left(\begin{smallmatrix}1 & 0\\ 1 & 1 \end{smallmatrix}\right)^{\otimes m}\), labeling its rows top-to-bottom from \(0\) to \(2^m-1\), converting the labels to binary strings of length \(m\), and deleting all rows whose labels have a Hamming weight less than \(m-r\). The recursive nature of the tensor product in the matrix \(F^{(m)}\) implies that RM\((r,m)\) is a subcode of RM\((r+1,m)\).

Another way to generate RM codewords is to list all outcomes of all polynomials of \(m\) binary variables of degree at most \(r\) [4] (see also Ch. 13 of Ref. [5]).


Achieves capacity of the binary erasure channel [6] and of the binary memoryless symmetric (BMS) channel under bitwise maximum-a-posteriori decoding [7].


Reed decoder with \(r+1\)-step majority decoding corrects \(\frac{1}{2}(2^{m-r}-1)\) errors [1] (see also Ch. 13 of Ref. [5]).Sequential code-reduction decoding [8].First-order (\(r=1\)) RM codes admit specialized decoders [9].


Deep-space communication, including the Mariner 9 spacecraft [10][9].


See Chs. 13-15 of Ref. [5] for details of RM codes and their variants.See Ref. [11] for the weight distribution of the \(2^{26}\) cosets of the \((32,6)\) first-order RM code, obtained in part by hand computation.


  • Polynomial evaluation code — RM codes are multivariate polynomial evaluation codes with \(\cal X\) being the entire \(m\)-dimensional affine binary space ([12], pgs. 44-46; [13][14]).
  • Linear binary code
  • Quaternary code over \(\mathbb{Z}_4\) — RM codes are images of ring-linear quaternary codes under the Gray map ([15], Sec. 6.3).
  • Divisible code — An RM\((r,m)\) code is \(2^{\left\lceil m/r\right\rceil-1}\)-divisible, according to McEliece's theorem [16][17].
  • Group code — Consider a binary vector space of dimension \( m \). Under addition, this forms a finite group with \( 2^m \) elements known as an elementary abelian 2-group -- the direct product of \( m \) two-element cyclic groups \( \mathbb{Z}_2 \times \dots \times \mathbb{Z}_2 \). Denote this group by \( G_m \). Let \( J \) be the Jacobson radical of the group algebra \( \mathbb{F}_2 G_m \), where \(\mathbb{F}_2=GF(2)\). RM\((r,m)\) codes correspond to the ideal \( J^{m-r} \). The length of the code is \( |G_m| = 2^m \), the distance is \( 2^{m-r} \), and the dimension is \( \sum_{i=0}^r {m \choose i} \). A similar construction exists for choices of a prime \( p\neq 2 \).


  • Hamming code — Hamming codes are equivalent to RM\(^*(m-2,m)\).


  • Binary BCH code — RM\((r,m)\) codes are subcodes of BCH codes of designed distance \(2^{m-r}-1\) ([5], Ch. 13).
  • Dual linear code — The codes RM\((r,m)\) and RM\((m-r-1,m)\) are dual to each other.
  • Binary duadic code — Certain punctured RM codes such as RM\(^*(2,5)\) are duadic; see Ref. [18], Table 6.2.
  • Cyclic linear binary code — Punctured RM codes are cyclic ([5], Ch. 13, Thm. 11), making RM codes extended cyclic codes. RM codes with nonzero evaluation points are cyclic ([12], pg. 52).
  • Parity-check code — RM\((m-1,m)\) are parity-check codes.
  • Binary linear LTC — RM codes can be LTCs in the low- [19][20] and high-error [21] regimes.
  • Generalized RM (GRM) code
  • Hadamard code — For any Hamming code \([2^m,2^m-m-1,3]\), the dual Hadamard code, when augmented with a bit that is always 0, gives the RM\((1,m)\) code. In general, RM\((1,m)\) is related to the duals of the Hamming code, and when RM\((1,m)\) is self-dual, it is directly related to the Hamming code.
  • Majorana stabilizer code — Majorana stabilizer codes can be constructed by self-orthogonal RM codes [22]. These codes have the additional property that the global fermion parity is fixed in the codespace. In this family of codes, logical measurements are reduced to parity measurements of some subset of Majorana fermions in the code.
  • Polar code — RM codes rely on the same generator matrix, but place message bits in different coordinates.
  • Quantum Reed-Muller code
  • Quantum divisible code — Quantum divisible codes can be constructed out of first-order RM codes.
  • Simplex code — Binary simplex codes can be constructed from the generator matrix of RM\((1,k)\) by removing first the all-ones row, and then the all-zero column. Punctured RM codes and simplex codes are interconvertible via expurgation and augmentation ([5], pg. 31).


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S. Kudekar et al., “Reed–Muller Codes Achieve Capacity on Erasure Channels”, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 63, 4298 (2017). DOI
Galen Reeves and Henry D. Pfister, “Reed-Muller Codes Achieve Capacity on BMS Channels”. 2110.14631
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“Reed-Muller (RM) code”, The Error Correction Zoo (V. V. Albert & P. Faist, eds.), 2022.
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“Reed-Muller (RM) code”, The Error Correction Zoo (V. V. Albert & P. Faist, eds.), 2022.