Fundamental limits of DNA storage systems

Reinhard Heckel, Ilan Shomorony, Kannan Ramchandran, David N.C. Tse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Due to its longevity and enormous information density, DNA is an attractive medium for archival storage. In this work, we study the fundamental limits and tradeoffs of DNA-based storage systems under a simple model, motivated by current technological constraints on DNA synthesis and sequencing. Our model captures two key distinctive aspects of DNA storage systems: (1) the data is written onto many short DNA molecules that are stored in an unordered way and (2) the data is read by randomly sampling from this DNA pool. Under this model, we characterize the storage capacity, and show that a simple index-based coding scheme is optimal.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, ISIT 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781509040964
StatePublished - 9 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, ISIT 2017 - Aachen, Germany
Duration: 25 Jun 201730 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameIEEE International Symposium on Information Theory - Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2157-8095


Conference2017 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, ISIT 2017


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