Burst error

In telecommunication, a burst error or error burst is a contiguous sequence of symbols, received over a communication channel, such that the first and last symbols are in error and there exists no contiguous subsequence of m correctly received symbols within the error burst.[1]

The integer parameter m is referred to as the guard band of the error burst. The last symbol in a burst and the first symbol in the following burst are accordingly separated by m correct bits or more. The parameter m should be specified when describing an error burst.

Channel modelEdit

The Gilbert–Elliott model is a simple channel model introduced by Edgar Gilbert[2] and E. O. Elliott [3] widely used for describing burst error patterns in transmission channels, that enables simulations of the digital error performance of communications links. It is based on a Markov chain with two states G (for good or gap) and B (for bad or burst). In state G the probability of transmitting a bit correctly is k and in state B it is h. Usually,[4] it is assumed that k = 1. Gilbert provided equations for deriving the other three parameters (G and B state transition probabilities and h) from a given success/failure sequence. In his example, the sequence was too short to correctly find h (a negative probability was found) and so Gilbert assumed that h = 0.5.


  1. ^ Federal Standard 1037C
  2. ^ Gilbert, E. N. (1960), "Capacity of a burst-noise channel", Bell System Technical Journal, 39: 1253–1265, doi:10.1002/j.1538-7305.1960.tb03959.x.
  3. ^ Elliott, E. O. (1963), "Estimates of error rates for codes on burst-noise channels", Bell System Technical Journal, 42: 1977–1997, doi:10.1002/j.1538-7305.1963.tb00955.x.
  4. ^ Lemmon, J.J.: Wireless link statistical bit error model. US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Report 02-394 (2002)

  This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document: "Federal Standard 1037C". (in support of MIL-STD-188)

External linksEdit