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Information Theory: A Tutorial Introduction

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Originally developed by Claude Shannon in the 1940s, the theory of information laid the foundations for the digital revolution, and is now an essential tool in deep space communication, genetics, linguistics, data compression, and brain sciences. In this richly illustrated book, accessible examples are used to show how information theory can be understood in terms of every ...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published February 1st 2015 by Sebtel Press
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Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Information is a fundamental physical quantity, obeying exact laws” (Deutsch D and Mareletto C, 2014).

As very aptly stated in this book, information is a fundamental physical quantity, not substantially different in this regard to other "quantities" such as energy or mass, and it can justifiably be viewed as “nature's currency”. The misconceived old belief that information is just an abstract, purely theoretical construct devoid of physical reality and only applicable to specialist fields such
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eggzellent stuff!

What a great intro to a subject I found fascinating and is widely applicable: Digital communications, computing, neuro-science and other biological sciences, linguistics (a favourite) and then there's my secret application that made me want to read the book in the first place...but you won't find it in the book.

There is a proper glossary of technical terms, something that long term readers of my reviews know I think is essential and yet all too frequently absent. There are also
Brian Clegg
Jul 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Information theory is central to the technology that we use every day - apart from anything else, in the technology that brings you this review (though ironically not in the book being reviewed as it doesn't appear to have an ebook version). As in his Bayes' Rule, James Stone sets out to walk a fine line between a title for the general reader and a textbook. And like that companion title the outcome is mixed, though here the textbook side largely wins.

The opening chapter 'What is information?' w
rigour follows insight

A pleasure to spend time with. Stone's arguments are complete without being bloated, and he has a keen eye for philosophical and intuitive implications ("Why does maximum information look like pure noise?", "What exactly does half a bit mean?", and much more). This completeness means that he sometimes repeats definitions or lemmas, but I defy you to find this unhelpful.

The bibliography is also excellent, ranking a hundred books by their specialty and difficulty.

William Schram
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Information Theory A Tutorial Introduction is a thrilling foray into the world of Information Theory by James V Stone. It starts with the basics of telling you what information is and is not. Now, although this is a tutorial of this subject, Information Theory is a subtle and difficult concept. Other people might get it, but for me, it is taking a while to understand even with this book.

The book is divided into chapters and further subdivided into sections. At the end of each section are Key Con
Chelsea Lawson
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent for what it was- a tutorial complete with lots of equations and examples/exercises. I actually was able to follow and loved the real-world questions at the end like calculating the amount of information contained in DNA (about a gigabyte.. not that much, but it’s contained in every cell of our body, mind you!)
Hồ Vinh
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This is my first book on this topic and personally, I believe it did a pretty good job of introducing basic concepts and practical problems in Information Theory.

As demonstrated in his other book(Bayes' Rule: A Tutorial Introduction to Bayesian Analysis), James spends a considerable amount of time to solidify reader's interest and explain minimally required knowledge prior to present any new concepts. On the bright side, this method covers a wide range of audiences, which could include one with
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
Really enjoyed this book. It has the equations and rigor of introductory information theory but it also guides the reader on the intuitive concepts behind information theory as well. Figuring out the significance of the equations because one is given intuitions behind them with illustrations at times helps in understanding this whole area of study. One of the better guides.
Anthony O'Connor
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fairly pedestrian

A basic introduction to Shannon’s early results in information theory. The book does attempt to make clear how unexpected and revolutionary these results were. To us now ... how could it ever be expected to be otherwise.
However the long detailed explanations and long pages of repetitious equations are uninspired and I am sure not terribly illuminating if you don’t know it already. That’s the test. Can you explain it to someone who doesn’t know it. You have to teach it not just
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad, but not great.

I have read more entertaining books on the subject. The author goes to great pains to illustrate the proofs and processes of determining entropy and information rates . Sometimes it seems highly repetitive. It may be that I just wasn’t following all of his arguments. Might be my fault not his.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very accessible read, plenty of explanation before the equations are introduced. It really helped shape my understand on other information I had learned in school that I wasn't provided the history of or the background for. I highly recommend this as an introduction to the topic if you are interested in the topic.
Alessandro Piovaccari
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic introduction to information theory. It clearly explain subtle concepts like entropy in a very understandable manner using only the required math without getting lost in the details. it is so well explained that, while reading, many times the topic seems obvious.
Kent Sibilev
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very nice and clear introduction to Information Theory. It doesn't require a significant mathematics prowess and it could be used to refresh the ideas on the subject.
Robert Mason
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent introduction to the main ideas in information theory with some flavor for it's applications presented at a good level between heavy textbook and pop science.
Steve Hagen
Good overview for the newcomer. Intuitive explanations, good examples, and not very technical. As a mathematical presentation of the subject it is surprisingly easy reading.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I appreciate the fact that the author has approached the continuous information theory topic.
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"So, what is information? It is what remains after every iota of redundancy has been squeezed out of a message, and after every aimless syllable of noise has been removed. It is the unfettered essence that passes from computer to computer, from satellite to Earth, from eye to brain, and (over many generations of natural selection) from the natural world to the collective gene pool of every species." (20)

"Suppose we are given a coin, and we are told that it lands heads up 90% of the time. ... Whe
Daniel Devine
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Information itself has a measure; this simple concept, of its own accord, has revolutionized technology, communications, cryptography, and even physics. As stated in the title, the book is indeed a tutorial introduction to the beautiful mathematical theory of information. James V. Stone's writing communicates very accessibly on the subject for both discrete and continuous random variables. Topics such as uncertainty, information theoretic entropy, coding efficiency, the source coding theorem, th ...more
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Honorary Associate Professor, University of Sheffield, England.

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