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Entropy plays a central role in communication systems. On the one hand, the objective of communication is to reduce the entropy of some random variable. On the other hand, many useful models of communication networks evolve to a state of maximum entropy given external constraints. Chemical systems also exhibit a similar entropy-maximizing property, as do many systems of interacting particles. This paper reviews this set of fundamental ideas. The goal of communication is to reduce the uncertainty about a random quantity. For instance, one knows the prior likelihood of possible events and learning which events actually occur reduces the people uncertainty. Entropy measures the amount of uncertainty.
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