I need to write a software in JAVA which allows me to simulate the transfer of some images over a noisy channel while adding redundancy with a repetition code . Before going into code details and issues, here are some requirements:

  • read files from a directory containing images
  • for each file, apply a repetition code (with n repetitions, user input)
  • for each file, send the result of the repetition code on a simulated channel with a given error probability. This means reading each bit and flipping it if we have an error
  • for each file, decode the file received from the channel and save it back as image

The parameters for the simulation are:

  • Files' folder
  • Number of repetitions
  • Error probability (as coefficient^exponent)
  • Output folder

I ended up organizing the project with these classes:

  • NoisyChannel - simulates the channel by reading a String of bits and applying the error based on some error model
  • SingleError - implements the single error model, meaning that we have a bit error if exponent times we generate a random number which is <=0.1
  • RepetitionCoder - applies the repetition code by taking the bit String, generating a char[stringLength*repetitions] array and filling it with the generated repetitions (010 with 3 repetitions will turn to 000111000)
  • RepetitionDecoder - decodes the bit String by splitting it every repetitions characters and applying a majority vote to each substring. The majority vote returns the most frequent character from the substring (001 will have 0 as result of the mjority vote)
  • Converter - utility class that contains methods to convert a byte[] to a bit String and the other way around

Now that you have a little bit of background, here's my problem: the simulation is really slow!

I've tried with 15 images with a size of 2.2MB each (so roughly 30MB of data) and 5 repetitions and it took around 8 minute to complete, which is way too high for me (running on an i5-4670 3.4GHz, 16GB 1333MHz dual-channel RAM, files stored on an USB3.0 external drive because I don't want to mess with my SSD)

This is why I need your help to try to speed things up.


for (int i = 0; i < 15; i++) {
    byte[] input = Files.readAllBytes(new File("D:\\testFrame.jpg").toPath());
    String inputString = Converter.byteArrayToBitString(input);
    int repetitions = 5, coefficient = 10, exponent = -3;
    // Repetitions (encoding)
    RepetitionCoder coder = RepetitionFactory.createRepetitionCoder(repetitions);
    String repCoderOutput = coder.encode(inputString);
    // Noisy channel
    BaseError error = ErrorFactory.createError(coefficient, exponent);
    NoisyChannel channel = new NoisyChannel(error);
    String channelOutput = channel.transfer(repCoderOutput);
    // Repetitions (decoding)
    RepetitionDecoder decoder = RepetitionFactory.createRepetitionDecoder(repetitions);
    String repDecoderOutput = decoder.decode(channelOutput);
    byte[] output = Converter.bitStringToByteArray(repDecoderOutput);
    Files.write(new File("D:\\testFrame_2.jpg").toPath(), output);


public static String byteArrayToBitString(byte[] source) {
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(8 * source.length);
    for (byte b : source) {
    return sb.toString();


public String encode(String bitString){
    return repeat(bitString);

private String repeat(String bitString) {
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(bitString.length() * repetitions);
    for (char c : bitString.toCharArray()) {
        char[] chars = new char[repetitions];
        Arrays.fill(chars, c);
    return sb.toString();


public String transfer(String input) {
    char[] bits = input.toCharArray();
    for (int i = 0; i < bits.length; i++) {
        bits[i] = errorModel.addError(bits[i]);
    return new String(bits);


protected char addError(char source) {
    return (isError()) ? flipBit(source) : source;

protected boolean isError() {
    for (int i = 0; i < Math.abs(exponent); i++) {
        if (Math.random() >= 0.1) {
            return false;
    return !(coefficient > 0 && Math.random() >= coefficient / 10);

protected char flipBit(char bit) {
    return (bit == '0') ? (char) 49 : (char) 48;


public String decode(String bitString) {
    String[] repetitionsString = splitStringEvery(bitString, repetitions);
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(repetitionsString.length);
    for (String rep : repetitionsString) {
    return sb.toString();

private String[] splitStringEvery(String s, int interval) {
    int arrayLength = (int) Math.ceil(((s.length() / (double) interval)));
    String[] result = new String[arrayLength];

    int j = 0;
    int lastIndex = result.length - 1;
    for (int i = 0; i < lastIndex; i++) {
        result[i] = s.substring(j, j + interval);
        j += interval;
    result[lastIndex] = s.substring(j);

    return result;

private char majorityVote(String buffer) {
    int zeroes = (int) buffer.chars().filter(b -> b == 48).count();
    return (zeroes > repetitions / 2) ? '0' : '1';


public static byte[] bitStringToByteArray(String string) {
    byte[] result = new byte[string.length() / 8];
    for (int i = 0; i < string.length(); i += 8) {
        String subString = string.substring(i, i + 8);
        result[i / 8] = bitStringToByte(subString);
    return result;

Any idea on how to speed things up while keeping a good readability? Considered that I need to work with 500+ images, wasting 8 minutes every 15 images leads to huge times.


Created the follow-up question as suggested.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hoy! You cannot edit your code in the question as this would invalidate existing answers. If you want us to review your new code, please post a follow up question! Thanks :) \$\endgroup\$
    – IEatBagels
    Dec 16 '15 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought that revision history was enough if somebody wanted to see the old code. How am I supposed to post a follow up question? Is it just a new question with maybe a link back here? \$\endgroup\$
    – StepTNT
    Dec 16 '15 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly! And the edit history isn't there for this purpose. \$\endgroup\$
    – IEatBagels
    Dec 16 '15 at 19:45

Using String is probably the main issue - you want to keep all data as bytes instead of converting it back and fort. Also, if you are only flipping bits and not dropping/adding them you might work directly on bytes: prepare a one byte mask ( from 8 calls to SingleError.isError()) for every byte of input and just XOR them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Originally I used ByteArrayInputStream and ByteArrayOutputStream but I ended up having issues in the RepetitionCoder.decode method and I had to switch to String. Can you please expand your reply with some code? I've been working on this for the last 2 weeks and my head is hurting now :( \$\endgroup\$
    – StepTNT
    Dec 15 '15 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I forgot to add that the error is on bit level so I need to call isError 8 times for each byte. \$\endgroup\$
    – StepTNT
    Dec 16 '15 at 10:18

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