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The Mathematical Theory of Communication

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  307 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Scientific knowledge grows at a phenomenal pace--but few books have had as lasting an impact or played as important a role in our modern world as The Mathematical Theory of Communication, published originally as a paper on communication theory in the Bell System Technical Journal more than fifty years ago. Republished in book form shortly thereafter, it has since gone thro ...more
Paperback, 125 pages
Published 1963 by University of Illinois Press (first published 1949)
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Emre Sevinç
Oct 21, 2016 Emre Sevinç rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There isn't much to add: this is one of the classics and if you have any serious interest in the topic, you owe yourself to read this at least twice.
Nov 18, 2007 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The mathematics quickly went over my head but I like to keep this book around to look at in ignorant awe-- its that important. His Master's thesis-- written in 1940, is the most important scientific or technical paper of the 20th century-- is more my speed, he connects electrical switches using boolean algebra and invents digital logic circuits. Brilliant! (to quote the Guinness Irishmen) And it can be understood by a liberal arts major. Free to download at MIT's website.
Nov 02, 2008 Okie rated it really liked it
A humble account by the father of information theory...the first sentence lets you know what you're getting into: "The word communication will be used in a very broad sense to include all of the procedures by which one mind may affect another." I probably wouldn't have read this book if it weren't for the assurance of broadness given from the beginning. It was a quick read, and I was left with the feeling that part of my mind had been tidied up.
Nov 25, 2007 Cody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shannon's use of entropy in his theory is fabulous and an idea that seems as though it could show up in a Pynchon novel.
Oct 14, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: math
Shannon's original 1948 paper on information theory. A relevant read, even today.
Jun 23, 2016 Jake rated it it was amazing
“It is remarkable that a science which began with the consideration of games of chance should have become the most important object of human knowledge.” ~Pierre-Simon Laplace Théorie Analytique des Probabilitiés (1812)

Human communication is a dichotomy between chaos and statistical dependencies. Letters in words are, obviously, in some way dependent upon the previous letters in their sequence. These collections of letters congregate together in different combinations to form words and those word
Nick Black
Amazon 2009-06-18. Where it all started, communication networks-wise. Perhaps the last great work of amateur science (I forget where I picked up this conjecture), "amateur" here being defined as anyone without a PhD (as opposed to "gentleman scientists" of a bygone era, men like Darwin, Lavoisier and Porter -- although, as emphasized in astronomy, this era may be returning with the advent of high-powered workstations and diffusion of open source simulation software. Gentleman science is pretty ...more
William Schram
This book contains the landmark paper called "The Mathematical Theory of Communication" written by Claude E. Shannon back in 1948. In it are the equations that define channel capacity and other such things. It is quite interesting, since the first part contains some additional information written by Warren Weaver. The book itself contains some mathematics, as you might be able to tell from the title of the book. There are some logarithms in there and some Calculus, so it isn't for those that ...more
Mengsen Zhang
Jul 12, 2014 Mengsen Zhang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Satisfied my morbid habit of reading classics off a book-like object. Weaver's encapsulating article was a wonderful surprise and nice guidance. And of course Shannon- such a beautiful mind!! Most impressed with the way he unfolded his logic, also his mastery of the art of using examples and diagrams. Nonetheless, for someone who's not very familiar with math, some continuous signal sections created lots of hair pulling moments, but I eventually pulled through.... anyways, it ...more
Very informative and relatively understandable, particularly with Weaver's introduction as an aid. The concepts of ergodicity and information transfer as a probabilistic symbolic state machine come across clearly without needing to understand difficult mathematical proofs. The notion outlined by Weaver of the extension of some fundamental principles across all three "levels" of communication I also found to be extremely interesting, and reading through Shannon's paper made them all the more ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Damon rated it really liked it
Shelves: quote-unquote
Dense and intense, Shannon's book breaks down the technological communication challenges we have today. The beauty, of course, is that this book was written a half-century ago.

The number-driven, engineer-focused theories in the latter half of the book were out of my range, but the first chapter alone blew me away and managed to quantify communication ideas we are struggling with right now.
Roberto Rigolin Ferreira Lopes
Weaver started strong describing the breakthroughs, pretty exciting intro. Discrete channels are palatable anywhere, but the continuous ones are tricky. Okay, perhaps I had a "noisy" channel while reading Shannon's ideas. Don't try to read it in public places :D
Jul 17, 2015 dead rated it it was amazing
It's kind of hard to review this - it's a very good book and more accessible than I expected. Very short and lucid but kinda profound in its impact? I guess I can see the reason the title went from "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" to "The Mathematical Theory Of Communication"
Daniel Hernanz
Mar 17, 2008 Daniel Hernanz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Engineers and scientist
Nice reading. This publication initiated the Theory of Communication as is known today. I bought it on a second-hand bookstore and it is an edition of the year 1964.
This is a seminal work in both computer science and the physics of entropy. I cannot delay reading it any longer. Too many other books depend on it.
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