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Parity check

Parity check definition

A parity check refers to an error detection method where an extra bit, or a parity bit, is added to each data unit. Parity check provides a simple and efficient method for detecting errors in data transmission and storage as well as helping ensure a secure data transmission process.

Benefits of parity checking

  • Simplicity. Parity checks are simple to implement and do not require significant computational resources.
  • Low costs. Parity checks are cheap as they only require adding a small bit to each data unit.
  • Accuracy. Parity checks help ensure the accuracy of the communication as every transmission is checked.
  • Improved security. Parity checks add an extra layer of security to communication and help prevent data loss.
  • Enhancements. Parity check can be enhanced with advanced error detection methods such as cyclic redundancy check or forward error correction.

Drawbacks of a parity check

  • Limited error detection. Two-dimensional parity checks can only find code errors causing the parity number to change.
  • Unclear detection. A parity check does not help find which bit of code is false.
  • False errors. Parity checks can sometimes result in a false positive.
  • Basic security. While a parity check can work as an additional security layer, it can be bypassed with a malicious program that keeps the parity bit the same.

See also: Even parity, odd parity