In this paper, we study the distribution of the minimal distance (in the Hamming metric) of a random linear code of dimension $k$ in $\mathbb{F}_q^n$. We provide quantitative estimates showing that the distribution function of the minimal distance is close (superpolynomially in $n$) to the cumulative distribution function of the minimum of $(q^k-1)/(q-1)$ independent binomial random variables with parameters $\frac{1}{q}$ and $n$. The latter, in turn, converges to a Gumbel distribution at integer points when $\frac{k}{n}$ converges to a fixed number in $(0,1)$. In a sense, our result shows that apart from identification of the weights of parallel codewords, the probabilistic dependencies introduced by the linear structure of the random code, produce a negligible effect on the minimal code weight. As a corollary of the main result, we obtain an asymptotic improvement of the Gilbert--Varshamov bound for $2<q<49$.


Jing Hao

Georgia Institute of Technology

Han Huang

Georgia Institute of Technology

Galyna Livshyts

Georgia Institute of Technology

Konstantin Tikhomirov

Georgia Institute of Technology

Session Chair

Navin Kashyap

Indian Institute of Science