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For the Danish newspaper, see Dagbladet Information. Information_sentence_0

For the formal criminal charge, see Information (formal criminal charge). Information_sentence_1

For other uses, see Information (disambiguation). Information_sentence_2

Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it is that which answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and nature of its characteristics. Information_sentence_3

The concept of information has different meanings in different contexts. Information_sentence_4

Thus the concept becomes related to notions of constraint, communication, control, data, form, education, knowledge, meaning, understanding, mental stimuli, pattern, perception, representation, and entropy. Information_sentence_5

Information is associated with data, as data represent values attributed to parameters, and information is data in context and with meaning attached. Information_sentence_6

Information also relates to knowledge, as knowledge signifies understanding of an abstract or concrete concept. Information_sentence_7

In terms of communication, information is expressed either as the content of a message or through direct or indirect observation. Information_sentence_8

That which is perceived can be construed as a message in its own right, and in that sense, information is always conveyed as the content of a message. Information_sentence_9

Information can be encoded into various forms for transmission and interpretation (for example, information may be encoded into a sequence of signs, or transmitted via a signal). Information_sentence_10

It can also be encrypted for safe storage and communication. Information_sentence_11

The uncertainty of an event is measured by its probability of occurrence and is inversely proportional to that. Information_sentence_12

The more uncertain an event, the more information is required to resolve uncertainty of that event. Information_sentence_13

The bit is a typical unit of information, but other units such as the nat may be used. Information_sentence_14

For example, the information encoded in one "fair" coin flip is log2(2/1) = 1 bit, and in two fair coin flips is log2(4/1) = 2 bits. Information_sentence_15

Etymology Information_section_0

See also: History of the word and concept "information" Information_sentence_16

The English word "Information" apparently derives from the Latin stem (information-) of the nominative (informatio): this noun derives from the verb informare (to inform) in the sense of "to give form to the mind", "to discipline", "instruct", "teach". Information_sentence_17

Inform itself comes (via French informer) from the Latin verb informare, which means to give form, or to form an idea of. Information_sentence_18

Furthermore, Latin itself already contained the word informatio meaning concept or idea, but the extent to which this may have influenced the development of the word information in English is not clear. Information_sentence_19

The ancient Greek word for form was (morphe; cf. Information_sentence_20

morph) and also (eidos) "kind, idea, shape, set", the latter word was famously used in a technical philosophical sense by Plato (and later Aristotle) to denote the ideal identity or essence of something (see Theory of Forms). Information_sentence_21

'Eidos' can also be associated with thought, proposition, or even concept. Information_sentence_22

The ancient Greek word for information is , which transliterates (plērophoria) from (plērēs) "fully" and (phorein) frequentative of (pherein) to carry through. Information_sentence_23

It literally means "bears fully" or "conveys fully". Information_sentence_24

In modern Greek the word is still in daily use and has the same meaning as the word information in English. Information_sentence_25

In addition to its primary meaning, the word as a symbol has deep roots in Aristotle's semiotic triangle. Information_sentence_26

In this regard it can be interpreted to communicate information to the one decoding that specific type of sign. Information_sentence_27

This is something that occurs frequently with the etymology of many words in ancient and modern Greek where there is a very strong denotative relationship between the signifier, e.g. the word symbol that conveys a specific encoded interpretation, and the signified, e.g. a concept whose meaning the interpreter attempts to decode. Information_sentence_28

In English, "information" is an uncountable mass noun. Information_sentence_29

Information theory approach Information_section_1

Main article: Information theory Information_sentence_30

In information theory, information is taken as an ordered sequence of symbols from an alphabet, say an input alphabet χ, and an output alphabet ϒ. Information_sentence_31

Information processing consists of an input-output function that maps any input sequence from χ into an output sequence from ϒ. Information_sentence_32

The mapping may be probabilistic or deterministic. Information_sentence_33

It may have memory or be memoryless. Information_sentence_34

As sensory input Information_section_2

Often information can be viewed as a type of input to an organism or system. Information_sentence_35

Inputs are of two kinds; some inputs are important to the function of the organism (for example, food) or system (energy) by themselves. Information_sentence_36

In his book Sensory Ecology biophysicist David B. Dusenbery called these causal inputs. Information_sentence_37

Other inputs (information) are important only because they are associated with causal inputs and can be used to predict the occurrence of a causal input at a later time (and perhaps another place). Information_sentence_38

Some information is important because of association with other information but eventually there must be a connection to a causal input. Information_sentence_39

In practice, information is usually carried by weak stimuli that must be detected by specialized sensory systems and amplified by energy inputs before they can be functional to the organism or system. Information_sentence_40

For example, light is mainly (but not only, e.g. plants can grow in the direction of the lightsource) a causal input to plants but for animals it only provides information. Information_sentence_41

The colored light reflected from a flower is too weak for photosynthesis but the visual system of the bee detects it and the bee's nervous system uses the information to guide the bee to the flower, where the bee often finds nectar or pollen, which are causal inputs, serving a nutritional function. Information_sentence_42

As representation and complexity Information_section_3

The cognitive scientist and applied mathematician Ronaldo Vigo argues that information is a concept that requires at least two related entities to make quantitative sense. Information_sentence_43

These are, any dimensionally defined category of objects S, and any of its subsets R. R, in essence, is a representation of S, or, in other words, conveys representational (and hence, conceptual) information about S. Vigo then defines the amount of information that R conveys about S as the rate of change in the complexity of S whenever the objects in R are removed from S. Under "Vigo information", pattern, invariance, complexity, representation, and information—five fundamental constructs of universal science—are unified under a novel mathematical framework. Information_sentence_44

Among other things, the framework aims to overcome the limitations of Shannon-Weaver information when attempting to characterize and measure subjective information. Information_sentence_45

As an influence that leads to transformation Information_section_4

Information is any type of pattern that influences the formation or transformation of other patterns. Information_sentence_46

In this sense, there is no need for a conscious mind to perceive, much less appreciate, the pattern. Information_sentence_47

Consider, for example, DNA. Information_sentence_48

The sequence of nucleotides is a pattern that influences the formation and development of an organism without any need for a conscious mind. Information_sentence_49

One might argue though that for a human to consciously define a pattern, for example a nucleotide, naturally involves conscious information processing. Information_sentence_50

Systems theory at times seems to refer to information in this sense, assuming information does not necessarily involve any conscious mind, and patterns circulating (due to feedback) in the system can be called information. Information_sentence_51

In other words, it can be said that information in this sense is something potentially perceived as representation, though not created or presented for that purpose. Information_sentence_52

For example, Gregory Bateson defines "information" as a "difference that makes a difference". Information_sentence_53

If, however, the premise of "influence" implies that information has been perceived by a conscious mind and also interpreted by it, the specific context associated with this interpretation may cause the transformation of the information into knowledge. Information_sentence_54

Complex definitions of both "information" and "knowledge" make such semantic and logical analysis difficult, but the condition of "transformation" is an important point in the study of information as it relates to knowledge, especially in the business discipline of knowledge management. Information_sentence_55

In this practice, tools and processes are used to assist a knowledge worker in performing research and making decisions, including steps such as: Information_sentence_56


  • Review information to effectively derive value and meaningInformation_item_0_0
  • Reference metadata if availableInformation_item_0_1
  • Establish relevant context, often from many possible contextsInformation_item_0_2
  • Derive new knowledge from the informationInformation_item_0_3
  • Make decisions or recommendations from the resulting knowledgeInformation_item_0_4

Stewart (2001) argues that transformation of information into knowledge is critical, lying at the core of value creation and competitive advantage for the modern enterprise. Information_sentence_57

The Danish Dictionary of Information Terms argues that information only provides an answer to a posed question. Information_sentence_58

Whether the answer provides knowledge depends on the informed person. Information_sentence_59

So a generalized definition of the concept should be: "Information" = An answer to a specific question". Information_sentence_60

When Marshall McLuhan speaks of media and their effects on human cultures, he refers to the structure of artifacts that in turn shape our behaviors and mindsets. Information_sentence_61

Also, pheromones are often said to be "information" in this sense. Information_sentence_62

As a property in physics Information_section_5

Main article: Physical information Information_sentence_63

Information has a well-defined meaning in physics. Information_sentence_64

In 2003 J. Information_sentence_65 D. Bekenstein claimed that a growing trend in physics was to define the physical world as being made up of information itself (and thus information is defined in this way) (see Digital physics). Information_sentence_66

Examples of this include the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, where particles can interact without reference to their separation or the speed of light. Information_sentence_67

Material information itself cannot travel faster than light even if that information is transmitted indirectly. Information_sentence_68

This could lead to all attempts at physically observing a particle with an "entangled" relationship to another being slowed, even though the particles are not connected in any other way other than by the information they carry. Information_sentence_69

The mathematical universe hypothesis suggests a new paradigm, in which virtually everything, from particles and fields, through biological entities and consciousness, to the multiverse itself, could be described by mathematical patterns of information. Information_sentence_70

By the same token, the cosmic void can be conceived of as the absence of material information in space (setting aside the virtual particles that pop in and out of existence due to quantum fluctuations, as well as the gravitational field and the dark energy). Information_sentence_71

Nothingness can be understood then as that within which no matter, energy, space, time, or any other type of information could exist, which would be possible if symmetry and structure break within the manifold of the multiverse (i.e. the manifold would have tears or holes). Information_sentence_72

Physical information exists beyond event horizons, since astronomical observations show that, due to the expansion of the universe, distant objects continue to pass the cosmological horizon, as seen from a present time, local observer point of view. Information_sentence_73

Another link is demonstrated by the Maxwell's demon thought experiment. Information_sentence_74

In this experiment, a direct relationship between information and another physical property, entropy, is demonstrated. Information_sentence_75

A consequence is that it is impossible to destroy information without increasing the entropy of a system; in practical terms this often means generating heat. Information_sentence_76

Another more philosophical outcome is that information could be thought of as interchangeable with energy. Information_sentence_77

Toyabe et al. Information_sentence_78

experimentally showed in nature that information can be converted into work. Information_sentence_79

Thus, in the study of logic gates, the theoretical lower bound of thermal energy released by an AND gate is higher than for the NOT gate (because information is destroyed in an AND gate and simply converted in a NOT gate). Information_sentence_80

Physical information is of particular importance in the theory of quantum computers. Information_sentence_81

In thermodynamics, information is any kind of that affects the state of a dynamic system that can interpret the information. Information_sentence_82

The application of information study Information_section_6

The information cycle (addressed as a whole or in its distinct components) is of great concern to information technology, information systems, as well as information science. Information_sentence_83

These fields deal with those processes and techniques pertaining to information capture (through sensors) and generation (through computation, formulation or composition), processing (including encoding, encryption, compression, packaging), transmission (including all telecommunication methods), presentation (including visualization / display methods), storage (such as magnetic or optical, including holographic methods), etc. Information_sentence_84

Information visualization (shortened as InfoVis) depends on the computation and digital representation of data, and assists users in pattern recognition and anomaly detection. Information_sentence_85


  • Information_item_1_5
  • Information_item_1_6
  • Information_item_1_7
  • Information_item_1_8

Information security (shortened as InfoSec) is the ongoing process of exercising due diligence to protect information, and information systems, from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, destruction, modification, disruption or distribution, through algorithms and procedures focused on monitoring and detection, as well as incident response and repair. Information_sentence_86

Information analysis is the process of inspecting, transforming, and modelling information, by converting raw data into actionable knowledge, in support of the decision-making process. Information_sentence_87

Information quality (shortened as InfoQ) is the potential of a dataset to achieve a specific (scientific or practical) goal using a given empirical analysis method. Information_sentence_88

Information communication represents the convergence of informatics, telecommunication and audio-visual media & content. Information_sentence_89

Technologically mediated information Information_section_7

Further information: Information Age Information_sentence_90

It is estimated that the world's technological capacity to store information grew from 2.6 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1986 – which is the informational equivalent to less than one 730-MB CD-ROM per person (539 MB per person) – to 295 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007. Information_sentence_91

This is the informational equivalent of almost 61 CD-ROM per person in 2007. Information_sentence_92

The world's combined technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks was the informational equivalent of 174 newspapers per person per day in 2007. Information_sentence_93

The world's combined effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks was the informational equivalent of 6 newspapers per person per day in 2007. Information_sentence_94

As of 2007, an estimated 90% of all new information is digital, mostly stored on hard drives. Information_sentence_95

As records Information_section_8

Records are specialized forms of information. Information_sentence_96

Essentially, records are information produced consciously or as by-products of business activities or transactions and retained because of their value. Information_sentence_97

Primarily, their value is as evidence of the activities of the organization but they may also be retained for their informational value. Information_sentence_98

Sound records management ensures that the integrity of records is preserved for as long as they are required. Information_sentence_99

The international standard on records management, ISO 15489, defines records as "information created, received, and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person, in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business". Information_sentence_100

The International Committee on Archives (ICA) Committee on electronic records defined a record as, "recorded information produced or received in the initiation, conduct or completion of an institutional or individual activity and that comprises content, context and structure sufficient to provide evidence of the activity". Information_sentence_101

Records may be maintained to retain corporate memory of the organization or to meet legal, fiscal or accountability requirements imposed on the organization. Information_sentence_102

Willis expressed the view that sound management of business records and information delivered "...six key requirements for good corporate governance...transparency; accountability; due process; compliance; meeting statutory and common law requirements; and security of personal and corporate information." Information_sentence_103

Semiotics Information_section_9

Michael Buckland has classified "information" in terms of its uses: "information as process", "information as knowledge", and "information as thing". Information_sentence_104

Beynon-Davies explains the multi-faceted concept of information in terms of signs and signal-sign systems. Information_sentence_105

Signs themselves can be considered in terms of four inter-dependent levels, layers or branches of semiotics: pragmatics, semantics, syntax, and empirics. Information_sentence_106

These four layers serve to connect the social world on the one hand with the physical or technical world on the other. Information_sentence_107

Pragmatics is concerned with the purpose of communication. Information_sentence_108

Pragmatics links the issue of signs with the context within which signs are used. Information_sentence_109

The focus of pragmatics is on the intentions of living agents underlying communicative behaviour. Information_sentence_110

In other words, pragmatics link language to action. Information_sentence_111

Semantics is concerned with the meaning of a message conveyed in a communicative act. Information_sentence_112

Semantics considers the content of communication. Information_sentence_113

Semantics is the study of the meaning of signs - the association between signs and behaviour. Information_sentence_114

Semantics can be considered as the study of the link between symbols and their referents or concepts – particularly the way that signs relate to human behavior. Information_sentence_115

Syntax is concerned with the formalism used to represent a message. Information_sentence_116

Syntax as an area studies the form of communication in terms of the logic and grammar of sign systems. Information_sentence_117

Syntax is devoted to the study of the form rather than the content of signs and sign-systems. Information_sentence_118

Nielsen (2008) discusses the relationship between semiotics and information in relation to dictionaries. Information_sentence_119

He introduces the concept of lexicographic information costs and refers to the effort a user of a dictionary must make to first find, and then understand data so that they can generate information. Information_sentence_120

Communication normally exists within the context of some social situation. Information_sentence_121

The social situation sets the context for the intentions conveyed (pragmatics) and the form of communication. Information_sentence_122

In a communicative situation intentions are expressed through messages that comprise collections of inter-related signs taken from a language mutually understood by the agents involved in the communication. Information_sentence_123

Mutual understanding implies that agents involved understand the chosen language in terms of its agreed syntax (syntactics) and semantics. Information_sentence_124

The sender codes the message in the language and sends the message as signals along some communication channel (empirics). Information_sentence_125

The chosen communication channel has inherent properties that determine outcomes such as the speed at which communication can take place, and over what distance. Information_sentence_126

See also Information_section_10

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