© 2019

Probabilistic Methods and Distributed Information

Rudolf Ahlswede’s Lectures on Information Theory 5

  • Alexander Ahlswede
  • Ingo Althöfer
  • Christian Deppe
  • Ulrich Tamm


  • Presents Rudolf Ahlswede's lecture on arbitrarily varying channels (AVC), on which he was the world's leading expert, appended by a survey of recent results

  • Includes discussions on a variety of topics related to distributed information, among them "multiple descriptions" and "network coding"

  • Can be used as the basis for courses


Part of the Foundations in Signal Processing, Communications and Networking book series (SIGNAL, volume 15)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Arbitrarily Varying Channels

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 3-15
    3. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 23-37
    4. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 47-91
    5. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 93-130
    6. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 131-146
    7. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 147-174
    8. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 175-199
  3. Continuous Data Compression

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 201-201
  4. Distributed Information

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 237-239
    2. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 259-272
    3. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 273-300
    4. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 301-332
    5. Rudolf Ahlswede
      Pages 333-357

About this book


The fifth volume of Rudolf Ahlswede’s lectures on Information Theory focuses on several problems that were at the heart of a lot of his research. One of the highlights of the entire lecture note series is surely Part I of this volume on arbitrarily varying channels (AVC), a subject in which Ahlswede was probably the world's leading expert. Appended to Part I is a survey by Holger Boche and Ahmed Mansour on recent results concerning AVC and arbitrarily varying wiretap channels (AVWC). After a short Part II on continuous data compression, Part III, the longest part of the book, is devoted to distributed information. This Part includes discussions on a variety of related topics; among them let us emphasize two which are famously associated with Ahlswede: "multiple descriptions", on which he produced some of the best research worldwide, and "network coding", which had Ahlswede among the authors of its pioneering paper. The final Part IV on "Statistical Inference under Communication constraints" is mainly based on Ahlswede’s joint paper with Imre Csiszar, which received the Best Paper Award of the IEEE Information Theory Society.

The lectures presented in this work, which consists of 10 volumes, are suitable for graduate students in Mathematics, and also for those working in Theoretical Computer Science, Physics, and Electrical Engineering with a background in basic Mathematics. The lectures can be used either as the basis for courses or to supplement them in many ways. Ph.D. students will also find research problems, often with conjectures, that offer potential subjects for a thesis. More advanced researchers may find questions which form the basis of entire research programs.


94Axx, 94A15, 94A34, 68M10 information theory multiple access channel data compression network coding statistical interference multiple Descriptions distributed information

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.BielefeldGermany

Editors and affiliations

  • Alexander Ahlswede
    • 1
  • Ingo Althöfer
    • 2
  • Christian Deppe
    • 3
  • Ulrich Tamm
    • 4
  1. 1.BielefeldGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Mathematics and Computer SciencesFriedrich-Schiller-University JenaJenaGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Communications EngineeringTechnical University of MunichMünchenGermany
  4. 4.Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Quantitative MethodsBielefeld University of Applied SciencesBielefeldGermany

About the editors

Rudolf Ahlswede (1938–2010) studied Mathematics in Göttingen, and held postdoc positions in Erlangen, Germany and Ohio, USA. From 1977 on he was full Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bielefeld. His work represents an essential contribution to information theory and networking. He developed and contributed to a number of central areas, including network coding and the theory of identification, while also advancing the fields of combinatorics and number theory. These efforts culminated in his research program on the “Development of a General Theory of Information Transfer”. In recognition of his work, he received several awards for “Best Paper”, as well as the distinguished “Shannon Award”. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Probabilistic Methods and Distributed Information
  • Book Subtitle Rudolf Ahlswede’s Lectures on Information Theory 5
  • Authors Rudolf Ahlswede
  • Editors Alexander Ahlswede
    Ingo Althöfer
    Christian Deppe
    Ulrich Tamm
  • Series Title Foundations in Signal Processing, Communications and Networking
  • Series Abbreviated Title Foundat.Signal Processing
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-00310-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-00312-8
  • Series ISSN 1863-8538
  • Series E-ISSN 1863-8546
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 581
  • Number of Illustrations 36 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Information and Communication, Circuits
    Communications Engineering, Networks
    Coding and Information Theory
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This material … would make an excellent self-contained reading group or course for graduate students and gives a sense of the considerable progress and remaining challenges in this area. … This review gives only a flavour of what is a rich and detailed book, which will reward detailed study and will form a valuable reference and guide to new and advanced ideas in information theory. I recommend it very strongly.” (Oliver Johnson, Mathematical Reviews, July, 2019)