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Quantum Mechanics. Information theory. Overview[edit] The main concepts of information theory can be grasped by considering the most widespread means of human communication: language.

Information theory

Two important aspects of a concise language are as follows: First, the most common words (e.g., "a", "the", "I") should be shorter than less common words (e.g., "roundabout", "generation", "mediocre"), so that sentences will not be too long. Such a tradeoff in word length is analogous to data compression and is the essential aspect of source coding. Cybernetics. Cybernetics is a transdisciplinary[1] approach for exploring regulatory systems, their structures, constraints, and possibilities. Cybernetics is relevant to the study of systems, such as mechanical, physical, biological, cognitive, and social systems. Cybernetics is applicable when a system being analyzed is involved in a closed signaling loop; that is, where action by the system generates some change in its environment and that change is reflected in that system in some manner (feedback) that triggers a system change, originally referred to as a "circular causal" relationship.

Some say this is necessary to a cybernetic perspective. System dynamics, a related field, originated with applications of electrical engineering control theory to other kinds of simulation models (especially business systems) by Jay Forrester at MIT in the 1950s. Decision theory. Normative and descriptive decision theory[edit] Since people usually do not behave in ways consistent with axiomatic rules, often their own, leading to violations of optimality, there is a related area of study, called a positive or descriptive discipline, attempting to describe what people will actually do.

Decision theory

Since the normative, optimal decision often creates hypotheses for testing against actual behaviour, the two fields are closely linked. Furthermore it is possible to relax the assumptions of perfect information, rationality and so forth in various ways, and produce a series of different prescriptions or predictions about behaviour, allowing for further tests of the kind of decision-making that occurs in practice.