Skip to main content

variable-length code

variable-length code A code in which a fixed number of source symbols are encoded into a variable number of output symbols. This variable number (the code length) may be made to depend on some property of the source symbols input to the encoder, often their relative frequency of occurrence. If a variable-length code is to be instantaneously decodable (i.e. a prefix code), it must obey Kraft's inequality. See also source coding theorem. Compare fixed-length code.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"variable-length code." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"variable-length code." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/variable-length-code

"variable-length code." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved December 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/variable-length-code

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.