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Reflections on information and information value

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1 Author(s)
T. B. Sheridan ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA

Information, as explicated by C.E. Shannon (1949), refers to the reduction in uncertainty about the state of an event after a message has been sent relative to the uncertainty about the state of the event before the message was sent. Information value, as explicated by R.A. Howard (1966) and others, refers to the difference in what one can gain by action taken knowing the state of the event relative to what one can gain by action taken without such knowledge. This paper considers the relation between the two concepts, information and information value, to the authors knowledge not heretofore discussed. It is concluded that the two concepts are independent, characterizing quite different aspects of information seeking and using. In application, the cost of the first term (information) subtracts from the second term (information value), and/or diminishes the latter in relation to information access time

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 1 )