Designation: Professor at the School of Informatics and Communication Sciences (IC) and the Faculty of Basic Sciences (FSB) of EPFL and the Founder of first summer school on theoretical aspects of computer science in Tehran
Work: Raptor codes
Field of the Prize: Information Theory
The 2017 Mustafa Prize in Information Theory was awarded to Prof. M. Amin Shokrollahi in recognition of his outstanding work on Communications: Raptor Codes. The world's most advanced forward error correction (FEC) code for data networks, Raptor codes invented by Shokrollahi in 2001, provide protection against packet loss by sending additional repair data used to reconstruct "erased" or "lost" data.
Over a period of 10 years, Prof. Shokrollahi designed and implemented various versions of his Raptor codes for many different information distribution applications including video streaming and delivery of data to mobile devices.
M. Amin Shokrollahi was born in Iran in 1964. He received his German Diploma and his M.Sc in Mathematics at the University of Karlsruhe in 1988. Then, he obtained his Ph.D degree at the University of Bonn, Germany, in 1991, and the title of his Ph.D thesis was ”Contributions to coding and complexity theory via algebraic function fields”. Since January 2003 he holds a full professor position jointly at the School of Informatics and Communication Sciences (I&C) and the Faculty of Basic Sciences (FSB) of EPFL, holding the chair of algorithms at I&C, and the chair of algorithmic mathematics at FSB.
Prof. Shokrollahi is the co-inventor of Tornado codes, and the inventor of Raptor Codes. For his work on the design and development of Raptor and Fountain Codes he was awarded the 2007 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award which recognizes outstanding contributions to Communications, and the 2012 Hamming Medal which is among the most prestigious awards of the IEEE.
In theory, a fountain code can create from a given piece of data a limitless stream of output data with the property that any set of this data of sufficient size can be used to recover the original data. The fountain code paradigm has numerous applications from satellite transmission, to broadcasts, IPTV, wireless data dissemination, multi-sender transmission, peer-to-peer networks, and many more. For it to become reality, the coding scheme had to become very efficient.
When Prof. Shokrollahi joined Digital Fountain, the company was using the first breed of fountain codes called “Luby-Transform” or LT-codes. In a matter of a few months, Prof. Shokrollahi invented a new class of fountain codes, called “Raptor codes”, which not only achieved Shannon’s capacity on any unknown erasure channel, but also did that with a practical algorithm using an essentially optimal number of computation steps. Today, Shokrollahi’s Raptor codes are marketed by Qualcomm, a world leader in the design of wireless systems, under the name “RaptorQ”.
Millions of products worldwide are using these codes, ranging from IPTV set top boxes to more dedicated data delivery systems enabling distribution of data to rural areas, for example. So, his work in “Raptor Codes” has been nominated for the Mustafa(pubh) Prize because the work has had a lasting impact on society.
Prof. Shokrollahi was the founder of First Summer School on Theoretical Aspects of Computer Science in Tehran back in 2000 and served as tutorial on Raptor codes for mobile communication at the University of Tehran in 2010. He has also mentored numerous Ph.D students and post-doctoral fellowship from Islamic Countries.
The world’s most advanced forward error correction (FEC) code for data networks, Raptor codes invented by Amin Shokrollahi in 2001, provide protection against packet loss by sending additional repair data used to reconstruct “erased” or “lost” data. Erasure codes provide data recovery by transforming a message into a longer message, allowing the original message to be recovered from a subset of the expanded message. Qualcomm® RaptorQ™ forward error correction technology recovers missing data packets with only minimal amounts of additional repair data and without requiring retransmission from the sender. This allows Raptor codes to efficiently and effectively provide reliability in data networks.
Over a period of 10 years, Dr. Shokrollahi designed and implemented various versions of his Raptor codes for many different information distribution applications including video streaming and delivery of data to mobile devices.