© 2017

Understanding Information

From the Big Bang to Big Data

  • Alfons Josef Schuster


  • Enriches your understanding of information, technology, the information society and the relationship between them

  • Explores how information is understood in a variety of domains

  • Presents the life-cycle of information including acquisition, storage, manipulation, retrieval, dissemination and usage


Part of the Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing book series (AI&KP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Introduction

  3. The World of Large and Small Systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 27-27
    2. Andrew Whitaker
      Pages 51-65
  4. The World of Living Things

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 67-67
    2. Karin Fister, Iztok Fister Jr., Jana Murovec
      Pages 69-81
    3. Naoyuki Sato
      Pages 83-98
  5. The World of Intelligent Machines and Finiteness

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-99
    2. Alfons Josef Schuster
      Pages 131-150
  6. The World of Networks, Clouds, and Big Data Processing

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 151-151
    2. Gaye Lightbody, Fiona Browne, Valeriia Haberland
      Pages 175-193
  7. The World of Society and Philosophy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 195-195
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 235-237

About this book


The motivation of this edited book is to generate an understanding about information, related concepts and the roles they play in the modern, technology permeated world. In order to achieve our goal, we observe how information is understood in domains, such as cosmology, physics, biology, neuroscience, computer science, artificial intelligence, the Internet, big data, information society, or philosophy. Together, these observations form an integrated view so that readers can better understand this exciting building-block of modern-day society.

On the surface, information is a relatively straightforward and intuitive concept. Underneath, however, information is a relatively versatile and mysterious entity. For instance, the way a physicist looks at information is not necessarily the same way as that of a biologist, a neuroscientist, a computer scientist, or a philosopher. Actually, when it comes to information, it is common that each field has its domain specific views, motivations, interpretations, definitions, methods, technologies, and challenges.

With contributions by authors from a wide range of backgrounds, Understanding Information: From the Big Bang to Big Data will appeal to readers interested in the impact of ‘information’ on modern- day life from a variety of perspectives.


Information and Science Information Society Big Data Information Processes Information Revolution Life cycle of Information

Editors and affiliations

  • Alfons Josef Schuster
    • 1
  1. 1.School of International Liberal StudiesWaseda UniversityShinjuku-kuJapan

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Understanding Information
  • Book Subtitle From the Big Bang to Big Data
  • Editors Alfons Josef Schuster
  • Series Title Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing
  • Series Abbreviated Title Adv. Informat. Knowledge Processing (formerly: KIM-Knowled. Inform. Manag.)
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Computer Science Computer Science (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-59089-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-86545-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-59090-5
  • Series ISSN 1610-3947
  • Series E-ISSN 2197-8441
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 237
  • Number of Illustrations 27 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Information Systems Applications (incl. Internet)
    Computers and Society
    Coding and Information Theory
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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“In this text, Schuster (Waseda Univ., Japan) aims to examine the broad topic of information from a wide variety of angles … which could provide graduate students with indications of suitable fields for research. This text deserves a place as a reference in all university collections. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.” (R. Bharath, Choice, Vol. 55 (10), June, 2018)

“This is a very good book! It’s a thought piece about a range of ideas that couples information across several disciplines and across large timeframes. … Each chapter has an extensive and good-quality bibliography. A quick citation search of the references suggests that the resources are well cited. This is a well-written book.” (Robert M. Lynch, Computing Reviews, April, 2018)