# Information Theory Flashcards, test questions and answers

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## What is Information Theory?

Information theory is a branch of mathematics, engineering and computer science that deals with the transmission, storage, manipulation and interpretation of data. It was developed by Claude Shannon in 1948 and focuses on quantifying information in terms of its entropy or uncertainty. This theory is used in many areas such as communication systems, cryptography, coding theory and artificial intelligence.At its core, information theory is concerned with how to best transmit data from one point to another over noisy communication channels with the least amount of errors. Shannon proposed that instead of measuring data by its length or size, it should be measured by its entropy or degree of uncertainty. He defined entropy as the average number of bits required for transmitting a given message over a certain channel at a certain speed. Entropy provides an upper limit on how efficiently any system can send messages based on the noise inherent within it. In order to reduce this noise and improve efficiency, techniques like encoding are used to make sure that messages can be sent without errors or corruption. Encoding techniques vary depending on the type of information being transmitted and each has their own advantages and disadvantages depending upon the specific application they are meant for. Information theory also covers topics such as compression algorithms which allow efficient storage and transmission of large amounts of data over limited bandwidths; error-correcting codes which provide immunity against noise; secure communications using cryptography; optimal design methods used in networks; filtering out unwanted signals from desired ones; detection/estimation algorithms that determine whether a signal is present or absent; etc. The principles laid down by information theory are applicable in many other fields such as economics (game theory), biology (evolutionary algorithms), neuroscience (perceptual coding) etc.