Novelty, Information and Surprise

  • Günther Palm

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Surprise and Information of Descriptions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Günther Palm
      Pages 11-34
  3. Coding and Information Transmission

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 49-49
    2. Günther Palm
      Pages 51-62
    3. Günther Palm
      Pages 63-74
  4. Information Rate and Channel Capacity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 75-75
    2. Günther Palm
      Pages 89-95
  5. Repertoires and Covers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 103-103
    2. Günther Palm
      Pages 105-121
  6. Information, Novelty and Surprise in Science

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. Günther Palm
      Pages 195-204
  7. Generalized Information Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 205-205
    2. Günther Palm
      Pages 207-215
    3. Günther Palm
      Pages 217-228
    4. Günther Palm
      Pages 229-236
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 237-248

About this book


The book offers a new approach to information theory that is more general then the classical approach by Shannon. The classical definition of information is given for an alphabet of symbols or for a set of mutually exclusive propositions (a partition of the probability space Ω) with corresponding probabilities adding up to 1. The new definition is given for an arbitrary cover of Ω, i.e. for a set of possibly overlapping propositions. The generalized information concept is called novelty and it is accompanied by two new concepts derived from it, designated as information and surprise, which describe "opposite" versions of novelty, information being related more to classical information theory and surprise being related more to the classical concept of statistical significance. In the discussion of these three concepts and their interrelations several properties or classes of covers are defined, which turn out to be lattices. The book also presents applications of these new concepts, mostly in statistics and in neuroscience.


cover information lattice novelty surprise

Authors and affiliations

  • Günther Palm
    • 1
  1. 1., Neural Information ProcessingUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

Bibliographic information

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