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Information theory: The copernican system of communications

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1 Author(s)
Massey, J.L. ; Lab. of Signal and Inf. Process., Swiss Federal Inst. of Technol., Zurich, Switzerland

IT IS ARGUED that Shannon's theory of information is the scientific basis of commumcataons in the same sense that Copernicus' heliocentric theory is the scientific basis of astronomy. Some parallels between Copernicus and Shannon are drawn. It is further argued that the fundamental thesis of information theory is that all communications is essentially digital and that the main theorem of information theory is the separation theorem for source and channel coding. Some observations about the source coding theorem and the channel coding theorem are offered.

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 12 )