[e2e] About the primitives and their value
David P. Reed
dpreed at reed.com
Thu Aug 10 13:42:52 PDT 2006
Joe Touch wrote:
> If we saw a paradigm that didn't relocate the problem (e.g., as
> publish/subscribe does), sure. I haven't seen one yet. From an
> information theoretic view, I'm not sure it's possible, either, but I'd
> be glad to see suggestions.
May I suggest that information theory is not the relevant way to think
of this? Information theory is good for lots of things, but it doesn't
capture intentionality at all.
All you can do with information theory is quantify conditional entropy
before and after changes that are defined by a channel model that you
import from some non-information theoretic source.
It's like saying Hoare's formal annotation of sequential programs tells
you what programs are. In fact the annotation tells you nothing about
the programs, all it lets you do is deduce what any particular program
may do based on the mapping from its syntax to its predicate-calculus
model. Hoare's logical formalism doesn't tell you that all programming
languages must be sequences of statements executed one after another -
that comes from the programming language designer's choice.
Most *applied* information theory results talk loosely about "sending"
and "receiving", but in fact the notion of sending and receiving are
arbitrary elements to which information theory's tools are applied.
In the case of radio, physics tells you what happens in the field
between antennas. In a network, the particular hardware connections and
manufacturing and code does. All information theory does is give you a
language to describe and reason about such systems. It cannot tell you
what kind of systems you can design or build.
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