Semantic Goal-Oriented Communication
Speaker: Madhu Sudan , CSAIL, MIT
Date: February 2 2010
Time: 4:15PM to 5:15PM
Contact: Be, 3-6098, email@example.com
For a few years now Brendan Juba and I have been exploring the
notion of meaning of bits, and in particular, wondering if
this can be communicated on a classical communication channel.
Part of the challenge here is in defining ``meaning'' in the
right way (to allow it to be communicated).
In our first work (STOC 2008) we asserted that the right way
to associate meaning is look at why the communicating parties
are doing it (what is their self interest in doing so).
We describe a specific goal (one of the players is interested in
solving some hard computational problem and the other player just
wants to help) and showed that such a goal could be achieved in
the presence of initial misunderstanding.
In recent work (joint with Brendan and Oded Goldreich (Weizmann))
we now extend our initial investigation to consider completely generic
goals of communication and investigate when semantic communication
is possible. We give a definition of a generic goal, explain
what semantic misunderstanding is, and describe a concept called
``sensing'' which seems almost necessary/sufficient for semantic
The talk will focus on the more recent work, but no knowledge of
the prior work will be assumed.
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