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SHIFT-REGISTER SEQUENCES AND SPREAD-SPECTRUM COMMUNICATIONS

-SOLOMON
Keynote Address, IEEE Third International Symposium on Spread Spectrum Techniques & Applications Oiilu, Finland, July 4 - 6, 1994 Forty years ago, when I began to study shift register sequences, digital technology was in its infancy. The most advanced electronic computers still used vacuum tubes. The integrated circuit was not even on the horizon. In that environment, a two-tap linear shift register of length n , producing a randomlooking binary bit stream of period 2 - 1 was an incre~libledevice. With only twenty active delayline positions, and only two of these positions accessible, rising no logical circuitry except a single half adder, a binary sequence with a period of more than one million bits could be generated! The first problem I addressed was how to predict the periodicity of a linear shift register from the feedback tap connections. I quickly discovered the equivalence of this question with the primitivity of the roots of the corresponding polynomials over the field of two elements. Gradually 1 learned of the long inathematicid history of this problem, in which roiiirection the na.mes of L. Euler (ca. 1760), E. L o cas (ca. 1875), a.iitl 0 . Ore (ca. 1933) deserve special mention. I also noticed that these inhwimllm-leirgtlr linear shift register sequences, named m-seqlierlces by Neal Zierler, hat1 several properties suggestive of randoinness. Three of these, which I (lesignatetl R-I, K-2, and IL-3, were the following: R-I. I n a Iiin;~.ry sequeim: of period 2 - I , therc arc 2- onps and 21-1 - I X l l W b . lThe 1)alance i)roI)erty.l

W.GOLOMB

These randomness properties made the msequences particularly useful in many applications which have subsequently been referred to as spread spectrum, and more specifically direct sequence spread spectrum. In the last few years, in the context of digital cellular commnnications, these sequences now form the basis of code division multiple access (CDMA) technology. There are several other properties of m-sequences which are worth noting. One of these is: The cycle-and-add property: Tf an m-sequence is added, term-by-term modulo 2, to any non-identical cyclic shift of itself, the result is another cyclic shift. This property actually chamcterizes the msequences. It can be restated as follows: The 2 - 1 cyclic shifts of an m-sequence of period p = 2 - 1, together with the sequence of 2- 1 zerues, regarded as a set of 2 vectors of leneth 2 - 1 over the field

R-2. In each period (of length 2- l),there are 2-2 runs of ones alternating with 2n-2 runs of zeroes. Half the runs of each kind have length 1, one-fourth of the runs of each of the type have length 2, and in general runs of each type (i.e. 2 - k - 2 runs of each type) have length k, for 1 5 k 5 n - 2. In addition, there is a single run of n - 1 zeroes, and a single run of n ones. [The run property.]

R-3. Compared with every non-identical cyclic shift of itself, the sequence has 2- 1 agreements and 2- disagreements. If we regard the sequence as consisting of +ls and -1s (instead of 0s and ls), then its normalized autocorrelation function C ( r ) satisfies C ( T )= 1 when 7 is a multiple of the period p = 2 - 1, and C ( 7 )= - l / p for al other values of r . [The l two-level correlation property.]

GF(2) of two elements, form a subspace of the space of all 2P binary vectors of length p = 2 - 1. [The subspace property.] The Utwo-levelcorrelation property, IL-3,follows immediately from the cycle-and-add property of m-sequences. However, the binary sequences of period p (not necessarily of the form p = 2 - l ) with agreements anti two-level autocorrelation disagreements with all non-identical cyclic shifts) are a larger class, and correspond to the combinatorial olijects called cyclic Hatlamartl difference sets. All known examples of cyclic Hadamard difference sets have p I 3 (mod 4) where either i) p = 2- 1 , n > 1, ii) p = 41 - 1 is a prime, 1 2 1; or iii) p = r(r 2) where r and r 2 are both primes (the twin-prime examples). Over thirty years ago, with little direct evidence, I conjectured that all cyclic Hatlamard difference sets must have periods of one of these three types. The experimental evidence for this is now quite impressive, though there is still little theoretical basis for this conjecture. Even in the case of cyclic Hadamard difference sets with period p = 2 - 1, which includes all the m-sequences, we do not yet know all of the inequivalent constructions which yield examples. Several member of my group (H.-Y. Song; D.Rutan; etc.) a t USC, as weIl as my long-time colleague Lloyd Welch, are actively investigating these unresolved questions concerning the existence of two-level-correlation sequences. T h e run property, R-2, follows easily from the fact that in an m-sequence of period p = 2 - 1, all possible subsequences of length n, except for n consecutive zeroes, occur within each period, each ex-

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a.ctly once [the span-n property]. There a x only ~ ( 2 - I ) / n z 2/n different In-sequences of periocr 1, = 2 - I , but there are P-l-i ciilferciit span-n sequences with this period, all ol~t;iinable from itoizlineur shift registers of length n . (These dilfer froill the de Bruiin s e q w n c e s of s p a n 7 1 simply by oinitting a single zero from the unique run of n zeroes in t.lre dc Bruijn scquence.) I n their book Cipher Systems, H. Deker and F. Piper introduce the term G-mndomness for seR-2, R-3. ant1 quences with all three properties R-I, It was shown I)y U . Cheng that G-randomness is insufficient to characterize m-sequences. (In particular, there is a sequence of period p = 127 which has Grandomness but is not an m-sequence.) However, the span-n property is more restrictive than the run property It-2, and I have long conjectured that the span-n property (modified de Bruijn sequences) togcther with R-3 (the two-level correlation proprrty) can be satisfied oiily by m-sequences. This conjecture lias now been verified for n 5 9 (period 15 29 - 1 = 511), but no proof is yet in sight. Shift register sequences have beeu used in both pulse and CW radar systems for several decades. The first attempt at radar contact with another planet, Venus, conducted by Lincoln La1)oratories in the late 1950s, used pulse radar modulated by an 711-seqnenca of period 213 - 1 = 8191. The JPL interplanetary ranging system, developed in 195960, used a CW signal with binary phase modulation spccificd by a long sequence obtained as a Boolean conil)ination of several short-period shift registcr sequences. Incidentally, it was at JPL that we had the first successful radar contact with Venus, on March, IO, lSG1. Much of the early impetus for the use of direct sequence spread spectrum was t o make military c o m niunications relatively resistant to jamming. Using only m-sequences for this purpose assumes a very unsophisticated jammer. The cycle-and-add property enables the jammer, without even deciphering the sequence, to generate a forward time-shift of the

intended modulating sequence, which might be used successfully to fool the receiver. A trivial exercise in linear dnebra over GF(2), rediscovered in numerous algebraic coding/decoding contexts, enables one to determine the span and the recursion of any linear sequence from a small number of its terms. To achieve more jam resistance, or any degree of resistance t o deciphering, it is necessary either to subject linear sequences to nonlinear operations, or to generate nonlinear sequences to begin with. To the extent that the successive bits of a shift register sequence (linear or nonlinear) are sufficiently random for the application, consecutive blocks of k bits may be interpreted as k-bit binary numbers which are then used to specify 2; different frequencies in a pseudo-random frequency-hop spread spectrum system. I am not aware of any nonmilitary motivation for employing frequency hopping t o achieve spread-spectrum communications, but there may be some tlutriirdly hostile communication environments for which this type of system would be appropriate. Short m-sequences have been employed as synchronization patterns i n a variety of applications, including such use for initial lock-up in spread spectrum systems. Many other uses of shift register sequences unrelated t o spread spectrum applicatious could be enumerated, but that is beyond the scope of the present paper. The commercial use of shift register sequences i n CDMA cellular communications closely resetihles the direct sequence spread spectrum military systems, but the justification is different. A hostile jammer is not assumed to be present in the cellular coinmunication application. Instead, CDMA packs more calls into the same bandwidth, with a lower power level per call, than the principal alternatives which have been proposed. Other speakers at this symposium, however, are both better qualified and more strongly motivated financially than I to elaborate on the virtues of CDMA for cellular communications applications.