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Hamming code

(ham´ing kōd) (n.) In digital data transmissions, a method of error detection and correction in which every string of four bits is replaced with a string of seven bits. The last three added bits are parity-checking bits that the receiving device uses to check for and correct any errors.

Hamming code will detect any double errors but can only correct a single error. This method of error correction is best suited for situations in which randomly occurring errors are likely, not for errors that come in bursts.

Richard Hamming, a theorist with Bell Telephone Laboratories in the 1940s, developed the Hamming code method of error correction in 1949.

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