Information Theory in Practice

Published by Lex on

Information theory is about as arcane as the word arcane.

Information theory is not so much about content, but more about how information is transmitted and received. It is also about the efficiency of that transmission.

In one definition, information theory is about how many bits are needed to move information to one location to another and how much value is created from that information.

The problem with the transmission of most information is noise. There is a lot of noise that is carried with information. Noise can be classified into multiple ways…

There is actual noise which is transmitted along with the signal

There is noise that is interjected unintentionally

There is noise that is interjected into the system intentionally

Transmitting information with as little ambiguity as possible with as little overhead as possible can be quite challenging. Even the clearest instructions can require clarification. With a little back and forth this can cleared up, but it doesn’t suffice as documentation of what happened and what was decided.

Effective communication requires more than efficiency.