Questions tagged [information-theory]

Questions about Information theory, entropy, and information content of various sources

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52
votes
8answers
19k views

Is Morse code without spaces uniquely decipherable?

Are all Morse code strings uniquely decipherable? Without the spaces, ......-...-..---.-----.-..-..-.. could be Hello World ...
37
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7answers
4k views

Can PRNGs be used to magically compress stuff?

This idea occurred to me as a kid learning to program and on first encountering PRNG's. I still don't know how realistic it is, but now there's stack exchange. Here's a 14 year-old's scheme for an ...
34
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6answers
7k views

Do lossless compression algorithms reduce entropy?

According to Wikipedia: Shannon's entropy measures the information contained in a message as opposed to the portion of the message that is determined (or predictable). Examples of the latter ...
30
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2answers
2k views

Simulating a probability of 1 of 2^N with less than N random bits

Say I need to simulate the following discrete distribution: $$ P(X = k) = \begin{cases} \frac{1}{2^N}, & \text{if $k = 1$} \\ 1 - \frac{1}{2^N}, & \text{if $k = 0$} \end{cases} $$ The most ...
26
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6answers
11k views

Efficient compression of simple binary data

I have a file containing ordered binary numbers from $0$ to $2^n - 1$: 0000000000 0000000001 0000000010 0000000011 0000000100 ... 1111111111 7z did not compress ...
26
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4answers
18k views

Is Morse Code binary, ternary or quinary?

I am reading the book: "Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software" and in Chapter 2 author says: Morse code is said to be a binary (literally meaning two by two) code because ...
21
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5answers
6k views

Data compression using prime numbers

I have recently stumbled upon the following interesting article which claims to efficiently compress random data sets by always more than 50%, regardless of the type and format of the data. Basically ...
19
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4answers
2k views

Compressing two integers disregarding order

Comparing an ordered pair (x,y) to an unordered pair {x, y} (set), then information theoretically, the difference is only one bit, as whether x comes first or y requires exactly a single bit to ...
19
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5answers
11k views

Why is encrypting with the same one-time-pad not good?

To encrypt a message $m_1$ with a one-time-pad key $k$ you do $Enc(m_1,k) = m_1 \oplus k$. If you use the same $k$ to encrypt a different message $m_2$ you get $Enc(m_2,k) = m_2 \oplus k$, and if ...
17
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2answers
772 views

What's harder: Shuffling a sorted deck or sorting a shuffled one?

You have an array of $n$ distinct elements. You have access to a comparator (a black box function taking two elements $a$ and $b$ and returning true iff $a < b$) and a truly random source of bits (...
16
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4answers
5k views

Can data be compressed to size smaller than Shannon data compression limit?

I was reading about data compression algorithms and the theoretical limit for data compression. Recently I encountered a compression method called "Combinatorial Entropy Encoding", the main idea of ...
16
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3answers
404 views

Difference between “information” and “useful information” in algorithmic information theory

According to Wikipedia: Informally, from the point of view of algorithmic information theory, the information content of a string is equivalent to the length of the shortest possible self-contained ...
16
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1answer
850 views

Efficient encoding of sudoku puzzles

Specifying any arbitrary 9x9 grid requires giving the position and value of each square. A naïve encoding for this might give 81 (x, y, value) triplets, requiring 4 bits for each x, y, and value (1-9 =...
14
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3answers
2k views

Shannon Entropy of 0.922, 3 Distinct Values

Given a string of values $AAAAAAAABC$, the Shannon Entropy in log base $2$ comes to $0.922$. From what I understand, in base $2$ the Shannon Entropy rounded up is the minimum number of bits ...
12
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3answers
1k views

PRNG for generating numbers with n set bits exactly

I'm currently writing some code to generate binary data. I specifically need to generate 64-bit numbers with a given number of set bits; more precisely, the procedure should take some $0 < n < ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Is there a generalization of Huffman Coding to Arithmetic coding?

In trying to understand the relationships between Huffman Coding, Arithmetic Coding, and Range Coding, I began to think of the shortcomings of Huffman coding to be related to the problem of fractional ...
10
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1answer
205 views

Error-correcting rate is misleading

In coding theory, 'how good a code is' means how many channel errors can be corrected, or better put, the maximal noise level that the code can deal with. In order to get better codes, the codes are ...
9
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3answers
7k views

Is Huffman Encoding always optimal?

The requirement of the encoding to be prefix free results in large trees due to the tree having to be complete. Is there a threshold where fixed-length non-encoded storage of data would be more ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Does a binary code with length 6, size 32 and distance 2 exist?

The problem is to prove or disprove the existence of $C$, s.t., $|c| = 6,\forall c\in C$; $|C| = 32$; $d(c_i,c_j)\geq2,1\leq i<j\leq32$. ($d$ stands for hamming distance) I tried to construct a ...
8
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1answer
774 views

Rényi entropy at infinity or min-entropy

I'm reading a paper that refers to the limit as n goes to infinity of Rényi entropy. It defines it as ${{H}_{n}}\left( X \right)=\dfrac{1}{1-n} \log_2 \left( \sum\limits_{i=1}^{N}{p_{i}^{n}} \right)$. ...
7
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4answers
3k views

Is there any theoretically proven optimal compression algorithm?

Is Huffman coding always optimal since it uses Shanon's ideas? What about text, image, video, ... compression? Is this subject still active in the field? What classical or modern references should I ...
7
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4answers
600 views

Compression functions are only practical because “The bit strings which occur in practice are far from random”?

I would have made a comment, as this pertains to Andrej Bauer's answer in this thread; however, I believe it is worth a question. Andrej explains that given the set of all bit strings of length 3 or ...
7
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1answer
169 views

Prove fingerprinting

Let $a \neq b$ be two integers from the interval $[1, 2^n].$ Let $p$ be a random prime with $ 1 \le p \le n^c.$ Prove that $$\text{Pr}_{p \in \mathsf{Primes}}\{a \equiv b \pmod{p}\} \le c \ln(n)/(n^{...
7
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1answer
446 views

Impossibility for Byzantine Generals Problem where $n \leq 3m$

Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_fault_tolerance In the paper "Reaching Agreement in the Presence of Faults", M. Pease et al. proved that there is no protocol (of some kind) to solve the ...
6
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4answers
5k views

Compression of Random Data is Impossible?

A few days ago this appeared on HN http://www.patrickcraig.co.uk/other/compression.htm. This refers to a challenge from 2001 - where someone was offering a prize of \$5000 for any kind of reduction to ...
6
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4answers
898 views

compressed information = randomness?

Suppose I have a compressed file and it is not possible to compress it more without loss of information. We say that this file is random or pseudorandom. So, if the randomness means not ...
6
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3answers
272 views

Are there lossless data compression techniques that do not exploit repetitive patterns?

Lossless Data compression (source coding) algorithms heavily rely on repetitive pattern (redundancy). Is there a Lossless Data compression method/algorithm that is independent of repetitive pattern ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Compressing normally distributed data

Given normally distributed integers with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation $\sigma$ around 1000, how do I compress those numbers (almost) perfectly? Given the entropy of the Gaussian distribution, ...
6
votes
1answer
162 views

How are data types related to information theory?

I was just reading from wikipedia the following about information: From the stance of information theory, information is taken as a sequence of symbols from an alphabet, say an input alphabet χ, ...
6
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1answer
917 views

Showing that the entropy of i.i.d. random variables is the sum of entropies

The shannon entropy of a random variable $Y$ (with possible outcomes $\Sigma=\{\sigma_{1},...,\sigma_{k}\}$) is given by $H(Y)=-\sum\limits_{i=1}^{k}P(Y=\sigma_{i})\;\log(P(Y=\sigma_{i}))$. For a ...
6
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1answer
732 views

Generalizing the Comparison Sorting Lower Bound Proof

Let's start with the comparison sorting lower bound proof, which I'll summarize as follows: For $n$ distinct numbers, there are $n!$ possible orderings. There is only one correct sorted sequence of ...
6
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1answer
882 views

Measuring entropy for a table (e.g., SQL results)

We're running some benchmarks for an approximative query-answering system. It's sufficient to just think of it as running some SQL queries with joins. We are counting the results returned as part of ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

The Entropy of the phrase “Eile Mit Weile”

I want to calculate the Entropy of the phrase "Eile mit Weile". I found the probability of each letter as the following $$P(e)=\frac{4}{12}$$ $$P(i)=\frac{3}{12}$$ $$P(l)=\frac{2}{12}$$ $$P(m)=\frac{...
5
votes
3answers
625 views

Arithmetic coding and “the optimal compression ratio”

Trying to learn more about compression techniques and found something in the wikipedia article on arithmetic coding that I'm not sure I fully grok. In describing how Huffman Coding can sometimes be ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Why are blocking artifacts serious when there is fast motion in MPEG?

Why are blocking artifacts serious when there is fast motion in MPEG? Here is the guess I made: In MPEG, each block in an encoding frame is matched with a block in the reference frame. If the ...
5
votes
1answer
315 views

Mutual information and moment generating functions

I went to listen to a workshop and someone from the audience asked the presenter how the moments can improve the mutual information. I am learning about MI (Mutual Information) so didn't have enough ...
5
votes
1answer
346 views

How much data could I store on a Rubik's Cube?

Google tells me that a standard 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 permutations. If I wanted to store data on that Rubik's Cube, how much could I store? The only way I see to store ...
5
votes
1answer
522 views

Mutual information intuition

I was creating an example for a casual talk on mutual information. I considered a system of two coins, which with probability 1/2 are copies of each other, and with probability 1/2 are independent. ...
5
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2answers
702 views

Estimate entropy, based upon observed frequency counts

Suppose I have $n$ independent observations $x_1,\dots,x_n$ from some unknown distribution over a known alphabet $\Sigma$, and I want to estimate the entropy of the distribution. I can count the ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Pointwise mutual information vs. Mutual information?

I am learning about information theory and mutual information. However, I am quite confused with MI(Mutual information) vs. PMI(Pointwise mutual information) especially signs of MI and PMI values. ...
5
votes
1answer
377 views

Reconstructing a screen of permuted pixels

Reconstructing a screen of permuted pixels Summary Given a video with the pixel locations randomly permuted (once, for the entire video), can we (efficiently) reconstruct the original picture? Let: ...
5
votes
1answer
330 views

Information theory from a (very pure) mathematician's perspective

I'm a pure mathematician interested in learning about information theory. Unfortunately, I'm about as pure as they come - my specialty is mathematical logic, and I have absolutely no experience with ...
5
votes
0answers
183 views

Average redundancy in Huffman or Hu-Tucker codes on random symbol probabilities

Huffman and Hu-Tucker codes are well-known compression schemes, which both come close to the entropy lower bound. It is known that if $L_1$ and $L_2$ are the lengths of a Huffman resp. Hu-Tucker code, ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

Name of a type of code similar to block codes

I've encountered a system where I need to construct a sort of quasi block code: We want to encode a symbol $s$ from a finite-sized alphabet $\mathcal{S}$ using $N$ segments of information. The $i^{...
4
votes
3answers
708 views

Can a transcendental number like $e$ or $\pi$ be compressed as not algorithmically random?

The related and interesting fields of Information Theory, Turing Computability, Kolmogorov Complexity and Algorithmic Information Theory, give definitions of algorithmically random numbers. An ...
4
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1answer
135 views

What are the rudimentary types of information connectivity i.e. model types?

I am looking at a modelling tool and are trying to determine all the types of ways that you can model (at a rudimentary level) I remember seeing a list of ways in which you can connect or categorise ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

A necessary [and sufficient?] condition for the number of comparisons required to sort $n$ elements

I am familiar with the decision tree based argument for the minimal number of comparisons required to sort $n$ distinct elements - Since there are $n!$ permutations on the $n$ elements, the decision ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Why is self-information defined the way it is?

The self-information of an event of probability $p_x$ is defined as $I(p_x)=-\log_2(p_x)$.¹ I fully understand this for equiprobable events of the form $p_x = \frac{1}{2^k}$. In that case, we want ...
4
votes
1answer
250 views

Conceptual question about entropy and information

Shannon's entropy measures the information content by means of probability. Is it the information content or the information that increases or decreases with entropy? Increase in entropy means that ...
4
votes
3answers
125 views

Do most bitstrings expand if they halt when executed by a Universal Turing machine?

According to the counting argument, most bitstrings are incompressible or only slightly compressible. However, the counting argument does not work in the opposite direction, since there are an ...