An Introduction to Information Processing

What is Information?

The exact meaning of the term "information" can vary quite a bit depending on the context in which it is used. It is the author's belief that the concept of information is a fundamental property of the universe as we experience it. Regardless of what the true nature of the universe may be, our understanding and experience of it rests solely on the information we receive from it. It is also the author's belief that the process of "communication" is a fundamental property of the universe as we experience it. Regardless of what the true nature of the universe may be, our understanding and experience of it rests solely on our communication with it. Additionally, it is the author's belief that the structure of "language" is a fundamental properly of the universe as we experience it. Regardless of what the true nature of the universe may be, our understanding and experience of it rests solely on its language.

Differentiation & Categorization

Formal Definitions

What do I mean by "Formal Definition?" A formal definition allows us to refer to an object without having to list all of its properties by giving it a name.  This has the effect of making it an abbreviation.

Visual Representation of a Formal Definition
A good Formal Definition has the following form:
X = Y Z
X represents the word being defined
Y represents a larger group of which X is a member. In addition, Y should not contain any words not understood by the one the definition is being communicated to.
Z represents a distinguishing characteristic of X that it does not share with Y

Undefined Terms

In any branch of academic study there are certain words which are either impossible to define formally or which the instructor assumes are already understood. These words are called undefined terms and are the starting point of any discussion or meaningful study. A surprising number of arguments can be reduced or even eliminated by taking the time to understand where two people may differ in their understanding of these terms. For this class we will begin with the following “undefined” terms:

Undefined Relations

In addition to “undefined terms” many times there are fundamental relationships between the terms which cannot be defined as well. Such “undefined relations” must be identified and agreed upon before more complex relationships can be described.

Formally Defined Terms

What is Language?

What is Communication?

Since you are viewing this document, it is assumed you are able to use a web browser of some kind and that you can read and understand english as used in the united states.