Redundancy and Information

Part of the Applied and Numerical Harmonic Analysis book series (ANHA)


Information is stored in computers as strings of bits. For example, each letter, number and punctuation mark of English text in my computer is encoded with a unique string of seven bits defined by the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, or ASCII, a 128-character alphabet listed in Table B.1 on page 274 in Appendix B.

Today’s most common computers use eight bits per character in a 256-element alphabet, because this simplifies and standardizes hardware designs. With ASCII data, the eighth bit can be used for some other purpose, such as parity-error detection, described in Section 6.2 further on. The eighth bit depends on the previous seven and is therefore redundant, adding to the cost of information storage and transmission.


False Alarm Binary Tree Linear Code Parity Check Interior Vertex 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsWashington UniversitySaint LouisUSA

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