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Professor Martin Tomlinson

Emeritus Professor

Faculty of Science and Engineering



Provide academic leadership for research in the Security, Communications and Networking Research Centre. Carry out research into Communications Theory

Supervise Research Students


Professor Tomlinson is best known for the invention of the Tomlinson-Harashima pre-coding technique. He received his PhD from Loughborough University in 1970 on the subject of adaptive equalisation for data transmission and worked at Plessey Telecommunications Research Ltd until 1975 in the field of digital and satellite transmissions. He then spent seven years in the Satellite Communications Division of RSRE (now Qinetiq) where he worked on the Skynet ground and space segment. He was also project manager for the communications aspects of the NATO IV satellite before joining the University of Plymouth as the Head of the Communication Engineering Department in 1982. Professor Tomlinson is currently Head of Fixed and Mobile Research Centre and has published approximately 180 papers in the fields of Satellite Communications, Digital Modulation and Coding as well as contributing to various standards such as the DVB-RCS standard for small terminals. Professor Tomlinson is the holder of 28 patents and is a member of the IET, the IEEE, Information Theory Society, Communications Society (ComSoc) and a member of the IEEE Satellite and Space Communications Society.

Professional membership

MIET, Senior Member IEEE, Member SPIE



Teaching interests

Multimedia communications

Satellite Communications

Wireless and mobile systems
Coding and Encryption

Signal and image processing
Data compression

Probabilistic computing



Research interests

Digital communications

Error correcting codes

Error correcting decoders

Signal detection

Signal processing

Wireless and mobile communications
Satellite Communications

Probabilistic computing


I have always been interested in the problems of efficient communication of information in wireless and radio communications. Over the years this has developed into satellite communications, point to point communications, networked and broadcast (multicast) and a list of communication topics:
 Single user and multiple user communi­cations, multimedia communications and broadcasting. Small satellite terminal and mobile technology. Spread spectrum communications. Error correcting codes and near maximum likelihood decoding. Information theory, watermark­ing and data compression.

I am a rmember of the editorial board of IET Proceedings Communications and a reviewer for IET Proceedings -Vi­sion, Image and Signal Processing, and Electronics Letters, IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, IEEE Commu­nications Letters, IEEE International Communications Conference (ICC), and IEEE International Symposium Information Theory (ISIT).

From time to time I carry out consultancy work for industry, via University of Plymouth, Research and Innovation, to organisations such as BAe, GCHQ, Met Office, ESA, BNSC, GE, AHA Comtech, and iCoding.


Other research

Involved in carrying out various communications research contracts for industry




[1] M. Tomlinson and C.J. Tjhai,

Analysis of the distribution of the number of erasures correctable by a binary linear code and the link to low weight codewords, IET Communications, Vol. 1, issue 3, pp.539-548, June 2007.

[2] M. Tomlinson, C.J. Tjhai, and M.A. Ambroze,

Extending the Dorsch decoder towards achieving maximum-likelihood decoding for linear codes, IET Communications, Vol. 1, issue 3, pp. 479-488, June 2007.

[3] C.J. Tjhai, and M. Tomlinson

Results on binary cyclic codes, Electronics Letters, 43, No.4, pp 234-235, February 2007.

[4] C.J. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson, M.Grassl, R. Horan, M.Z. Ahmed, and M.A.Ambroze.

New Linear Codes Derived from Binary Cyclic Codes of Length 151, IET Communications,Vol. 153 issue 3, pp. 151-166, May 2006.

[5] R. Horan, C.J. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson, M.A. Ambroze and M.Z. Ahmed,

Idempotents, Mattson-Solomon polynomials and binary LDPC codes, Vol. 153 issue 2, pp. 256-262, April 2006.

[6] C.J. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson, M.A. Ambroze and M.Z. Ahmed,

Cyclotomic idempotent-based binary cyclic codes, Electronics Letters, 41, No.6, pp. 341-343, March 2005.

[7] M. Ambroze, G.Wade and M. Tomlinson,

Dependence of dfree in MPCCC Systems, IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol 51, No 3, pp. 318-325, March 2003.

[8] C. Serdean, M. Ambroze, M. Tomlinson,G. Wade

DWT Based High Capacity Blind Video Watermarking, Invariant to Geometrical Attacks, IEE Proceedings Vision, Image and Signal Processing, Vol 150, No 1, pp. 51-58, February 2003.

[9] M. Tomlinson, M. Ferrari and M.A. Ambroze,

Search for good b/ b+1 high rate recursive systematic convolutional component codes, Electronics Letters, Volume 38, Issue 25, , pp. 1691-1693, Dec. 2002.

[10] M. Tomlinson, G. Wade, P. Van Eetvelt and M. A. Ambroze,

Bounds for finite block-length codes, Communications, IEE Proceedings, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp. 65-69, April 2002.

[11] M. Ambroze, G. Wade, C. Serdean, M. Tomlinson, J. Stander and M.Borda,

Turbo Code Protection of Video Watermark Channel, IEE Proceedings Visual Image Signal Processing, Vol 148, No 1, pp. 54-58, February 2001.

[12] M. Ambroze, G. Wade, M. Tomlinson,

Practical Aspects of Iterative Decoding, IEE Proceedings Communications, Vol 147, No 2, pp. 69-74, April 2000.

[13] M. Ambroze, G. Wade and M. Tomlinson,

Iterative MAP Decoding for Serial Concatenated Convolutional Codes, IEE Proceedings Communications, Vol 145, No 2, pp. 53-59, April 1998.

[14] M. Ambroze, G. Wade and M. Tomlinson,

Turbo Code Tree and Code Performance, IEE Electronics Letters, Vol 34, No 4, pp. 353-354, February 1998.

[15] M. Tomlinson,

New Automatic Equaliser employing Modulo Arithmetic, IEE Electronic Letters, Vol 7,pp 138-139, March 1971.

Conference Papers

[1] M. Ferrari, S.Bellini ,M.Ambroze and M. Tomlinson, A 2-HARQ Scheme for BEC Models with ML Decoding of Turbo Codes, 2008 IEEE ITW, Porto, May 2008

[2]C.Tjhai, M. Tomlinson and M. Grassl, Chains of Cyclic Codes, Construction X and Incremental Redundancy, 2008 IEEE ITW, Porto, May 2008

[3] M. Ambroze, M. Tomlinson, C. Tjhai, and M. Ahmed,

Analysis of the Distribution of the Number of Correctable Erasures for Turbo Codes with DRP Interleavers IEEE Information Theory Workshop, 2007, ITW ’07,Lake Tahoe, California, USA, pp. 214 - 217, Sept. 2007.

[4] M.Z. Ahmed, M.A. Ambroze and M. Tomlinson,

On Computing Shannon’s Sphere Packing Bound and Applications, ISCTA 2007, Ninth International Symposium on Communication Theory and Applications, Ambleside,July 2007.

[5] C. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson, M. Fossorier and P. Perry,

Comparison of Bose- Chaudhuri-Hocquenghem and Goppa Codes for Error Detection, ISCTA 2007, Ninth International Symposium on Communication Theory and Applications, Ambleside, July 2007.

[6] C. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson, R. Horan, M. Ahmed, and M. Ambroze,

Some Results on the Weight Distributions of the Binary Double-Circulant Codes Based on Primes, ICCS 2006. 10th IEEE Singapore International Conference on Communication systems,October 2006.

[7] J. Cai, M. Tomlinson, C. Tjhai, M. Ambroze, M. Ahmed,

Comparison of Concatenated Reed-Solomon Coding with Hard-decision to Soft-decision LDPC Coding for the Rayleigh Fading Channel, Information Theory Workshop, 2006. ITW ’06 Chengdu, IEEE, pp. 135-139, Oct. 2006.

[8] C. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson, R. Horan, M. Ahmed, M. Ambroze,

On the Efficient Codewords Counting Algorithm and theWeight Distributions of the Binary Quadratic Double-Circulant Codes, Information Theory Workshop, 2006. ITW ’06 Chengdu. IEEE, pp. 42-46, Oct. 2006.

[9] C. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson, R. Horan, M. Ahmed, and M. Ambroze,

Low-Density Parity-Check Codes Derived from Cyclotomic Cosets , 4th International Symposium on Turbo Codes and Related Topics, Munich, April 2006.

[10] J. Cai, M. Tomlinson, C. Tjhai,M. Ambroze, and M. Ahmed,

Advances in Iterative Decoding and Maximum Likelihood Decoding for the Packet Network with comparisons to Fountain Codes over the Erasure Channel, 4th International Symposium on Turbo Codes and Related Topics, Munich, April 2006.

[11] J. Cai, C. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson, M. Ambroze, and M. Ahmed,

An Efficient Solution to Packet Loss: Erasure Correcting Codes, Proceedings IASTED Conference Communications Systems and Networks, Benidorm, Spain, September 2005.

[12] R.Horan, C. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson,M. Ambroze and M. Ahmed,

A Finite- Field Transform Domain Construction of Binary Low-Density Parity-Check Codes, ITW2005-IEEE ITSOC Information Theory Workshop 2005 on Coding and Complexity,Rotorua, NZ, August


[13] C. Tjhai, M. Tomlinson, R.Horan, M. Ambroze and M. Ahmed,

Near Maximum-Likelihood Performance of some New Cyclic Codes Constructed in the Finite-Field Transform Domain, 8th ISCTA, Ambleside, July 2005.

[14] E. Papagiannis, C. Tjhai, M. Ahmed, M.A. Ambroze and M. Tomlinson

Improved Iterative Decoding for Perpendicular Magnetic Recording, 8th ISCTA, Ambleside, July 2005.

[15] Xin Xu, Martin Tomlinson, Marcel Ambroze and Mohammed Ahmed,

Techniques to provide robust and high capacity data hiding of ID badges for increased security requirement, SETIT Conference, 3rd International Conference Sciences of Electronic, Technologies of Information and Telecommunications, Susa, Tunisia, March 2005.

[16] A. Rogers, M. Tomlinson, M.A. Ambroze, and M.Z. Ahmed

Enhancement of Turbo codes using Cyclic Redundancy Check with Interleaver Optimisation ISIT Conference 2004, July 2004.

[17] E. Papagiannis, M.A.Ambroze and M.Tomlinson

Approaching ML Performance with Iterative Decoding , IEEE International Symposium Information Theory, Zurich, Feb 2004

[18] J. Ning, R. Jakobs, G. Wade, M. Fu, and M. Tomlinson,

SCCPM in a Ricean Fading Channel , 7th International Symposium on Digital Signal Processing and Communications, Coolangatta, Gold Coast, Australia, Dec 2003.

[19] E. Papagiannis and M. A. Ambroze and M. Tomlinson,

Analysis of Non Convergence Blocks at Low and Moderate SNR in SCC Turbo Schemes

, SPSC 2003, 8th International workshop on Signal Processing for Space Communications, Catania, Italy, pp. 121-128, Sept 2003.

[20] M.A. Ambroze, M. Tomlinson, M. Ferrari, S. Bellini,

Improving Product Code Performance by Limited Search List Decoding , ESA Eighth International Workshop on Signal Processing for Space Communications, Catania,Italy, pp. 129-134, September 2003.

[21] M. Ferrari, S. Bellini, M. Tomlinson, M. Ambroze,

Backbone Interleaver Design for Multi-Binary Turbo Codes, Third International Symposium on Turbo Codes and Related Topics, Brest, France, pp. 443-446, ISBN 2908849127,September 2003.

[22] M. Ambroze, M. Tomlinson, G. Wade,

Magnitude Modulation for Small Satellite Earth Terminals using QPSK and OQPSK, IEEE Proceedings - ICC 2003 Conference, Alaska, USA, Vol 3, pp. 2009-2103, May 2003.


[1] C.J Tjhai, E. Papagiannis, M.Tomlinson, and M.A.Ambroze “Improved Iterative Decoder for LDPC Codes with Performance Approximating to a Maximum Likelihood Decoder”

UK Patent GB2405562


[2] A. Rogers, M. Ambroze, and M. Tomlinson “Cyclic redundancy check for error correcting codes with minimal code rate loss”,

UK Patent GB2407945


[3] M. Tomlinson, C.J Tjhai, M. Ambroze and M.Z. Ahmed “Improved Error correction decoder”,

UK Patent Application GB2426671


[4] M. Tomlinson, J. Cai and M. Ambroze “System for Correcting Deleted or Missing Symbols”,

UK Patent Application GB2421599


[5] M. Tomlinson, X. Xu, and M. Ambroze, “Impression of Information on Noise or an Independent Signal”,

UK Patent GB2427800


[6] M. Tomlinson, and M. Ambroze “Concatenated Coding System”,

UK Patent Application GB0625228.2


[7] M. Tomlinson, C.J.Tjhai, M. Ambroze and M.Z. Ahmed “Password Correction and Confidential Information Access System”,

UK Patent Application GB0724723.3


[8] M. Tomlinson and C.J. Tjhai, “Incremental Redundancy Coding System”,

US Patent Application 11/751313


[9] M. Tomlinson, M. Ambroze, C.J. Tjhai and M.Z. Ahmed, “Concatenated Code Construction and Decoding System”,

US Patent Application 11/775598


[10] M. Tomlinson, C.J. Tjhai, M. Ambroze and M.Z. Ahmed, “Error Correction System using the Discrete Fourier Transform”,

US Patent Application 12057781

[11] M. Tomlinson and C.J. Tjhai “Domestic radio system",
UK Patent Application 0813074.2

[12] M. Tomlinson, M. Ambroze and M.Z. Ahmed, “Speech based information system",
UK Patent Application 0816312.3