prefix codes

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Codes in which no codeword is a prefix of any other codeword. The idea is usually applied to variable-length codes. A prefix code has the property that, as soon as all the symbols of a codeword have been received, the codeword is recognized as such. Prefix codes are therefore said to be instantaneously decodable. (They are of necessity uniquely decodable.)

Subjects: Computing.

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