Information Theory – What Is It And Why Is It Important?


Information Theory – What Is It And Why Is It Important?

Information is one of the most powerful forces that shapes our lives. Without information, we would be hard pressed to carry on our routine daily activities. We could not even drive a car or pay our mortgages without it. Unfortunately, information is not always well managed. In some cases, information is misused and can have adverse consequences.

Information, in a broad sense, is structured, processed and organised information that is used by individuals or groups for the purpose of action. It gives context to other data and allows decision making to be made. For instance, a single customer’s sale at a particular restaurant is information per person, which becomes available to the management as an informational equivalent of other restaurant sales figures.

An information theory model is based on two principal premises: information may be categorized into different sources such as representational, informational and reference formats. Within each source there can be multiple forms of data such as text, numeric, audio/video, graphics, user interfaces, relational formats and so on. Information can also be decomposed into a number of constituents such as word or phrase, sentence or term. Each component can be described using one or more higher level descriptions, called templates.

To illustrate how information is categorized and the way in which it is used, consider an internet business, like the restaurant mentioned above. Let us assume that they have a web interface and a database that stores customer information and the ordering history of past customers. They first perform some sort of data compression to make the information appear as small as possible. The result of this compression is a small amount of data which is stored in the form of HTML code. This HTML code is then transmitted along to a number of destinations over the internet, which may either use the data compression or may not.

The delivery method is dependent upon the information’s types: text, numeric, audio/video, etc… Once the HTML code has been transformed into a form that the human mind can understand, it is sent to a different processing path for processing. The final step is for the conscious mind to reconstruct the HTML code back into a form that the subconscious mind understands, thus creating an informational equivalent or truth-value. As the internet grows and matures over time, this evolution will become increasingly useful for communication, education and information provision.

Information theory is thus vital for the growth and development of modern society. In the end, we need all the information available to us: if we don’t have access to all of it, we may develop mental illness or even decide to create false realities to serve our ends. The importance of information theory is therefore most obvious in the growing technological gap between humans and machines, but it is also evident in everyday life: we can’t drive without having GPS tracking devices, we buy cars with our credit card details and even rent rooms to live in apartments – this is all part of the information age. Information is truly power, and its importance is growing rapidly as modern society progresses into the Information Age.

Categories: Info