Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New method to measure the redundancy of information

Date:
February 14, 2013
Source:
University of Hertfordshire
Summary:
Understanding information as well as its redundancy, or duplication, has been crucial in the development of many of our everyday items such mobile phones, the internet, the compact disc as well as ensuring the success of many space missions. Using information geometry tools, researchers have developed a new mathematically precise method of measuring information redundancy.

Understanding information as well as its redundancy, or duplication, has been crucial in the development of many of our everyday items such mobile phones, the internet, the compact disc as well as ensuring the success of many space missions. Using information geometry tools, researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, led by Dr Daniel Polani have developed a new mathematically precise method of measuring information redundancy, as published in Physical Review E.

Most of us are familiar with the notion of "redundancy," where there is a duplication of concepts -- sometimes the duplication is for reasons of safety, but other times it is unintended. For example, critical machinery such as airplanes or satellites have "redundant" components built into systems to ensure continued operation in the event of some parts failing. Similarly, information or data can also be redundant. Sometimes, this redundancy is intentional, such as in the case of computer backups. However, on other occasions, the redundancy is an unintentional and unnecessary duplication, such as in saying "poodle dog" -- we know that we are referring to a dog whether we say "poodle" or we say "dog." Such unnecessary duplication can impact on data compression, data storage or unnecessarily increase the effort required to administrate data.

Dr Daniel Polani, Reader in Artificial Life in the University of Hertfordshire's School of Computer Science, said: "We often infer information on one variable based on the observations of another linked variable. For example, observing a person entering a house with a wet umbrella allows one to infer that there is a good likelihood that it is raining outside. Traditionally, this approach, called 'Mutual Information', was a good way to measure the degree of redundancy with respect to each of the two linked variables."

However, this simple approach fails when extended to three variables since they can interact in a very complicated way. A new approach was needed to measure redundancy for a system with three variables.

The new method developed by Dr Polani's team measures redundancy in a system with three variables. This new measure captures many of the intuitive properties of redundancy, with the added bonus of a novel information-geometric interpretation, which has not been done before. It measures how much the information in one variable lies "in the same direction" with respect to the other variable that you want to know more about.

This novel method of measuring redundancy has applications for researchers in a variety of different fields. One immediate use is to track how information flows through a system which promises to be a very valuable tool in neuroscience and the study of networks, agents and other complex scenarios where it is essential to trace the origin and the effects of information flow.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Hertfordshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Malte Harder, Christoph Salge, Daniel Polani. Bivariate measure of redundant information. Physical Review E, 2013; 87 (1) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.87.012130

Cite This Page:

University of Hertfordshire. "New method to measure the redundancy of information." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214132809.htm>.
University of Hertfordshire. (2013, February 14). New method to measure the redundancy of information. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214132809.htm
University of Hertfordshire. "New method to measure the redundancy of information." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130214132809.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — New photo-recognition software from MicroBlink, called PhotoMath, solves linear equations and simple math problems with step-by-step results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rate Hike Worries Down on Inflation Data

Rate Hike Worries Down on Inflation Data

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inflation remains well under control according to the latest consumer price index, giving the Federal Reserve more room to keep interest rates low for awhile. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins