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 July 24, 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 July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme

AP (July 23, 2014) Six people were indicted Wednesday in an international ring that took over more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets that were then resold. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Reviews Are In For The Amazon Fire Phone

The Reviews Are In For The Amazon Fire Phone

Newsy (July 23, 2014) Amazon's first smartphone, the Fire Phone, is set to ship this week, and so far the reviews have been pretty mixed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bigger Apple Phone, Bigger Orders

Bigger Apple Phone, Bigger Orders

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 22, 2014) Apple is asking suppliers to make 70 to 80 million units of its new larger screen iPhone, a lot more initially than its current model. Fred Katayama 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:
from the past week

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