Universal Semantic Communication
Speaker: Brendan Juba , Harvard UniversityContact:
Date: February 4 2011
Time: 1:00PM to 2:30PM
Host: Nancy Lynch, MIT
Alex Cornejo, 6172531922, firstname.lastname@example.orgRelevant URL:
Title: Universal Semantic Communication
The standard theories of communication, such as Shannon's theory, fundamentally rely on the assumption that all communicating parties have agreed in advance on a communications protocol. These days, such assumptions fail to hold in modern computer systems for a variety of reasons: sometimes the established "standards" are not faithfully followed, and sometimes the standards themselves need to change over time. As the number and diversity of communicating devices grows, it seems inevitable that such failures of communication will likewise grow more prevalent. It is therefore highly desirable to understand when and to what extent such problems of miscommunication can be addressed automatically by the computational devices themselves.
We will propose a theory of communication that allows us to capture these issues by explicitly introducing the "goals of communication" into our models. We will see that in many cases, successful goal-oriented communication is possible without any common background, and we will get a quantitative sense of the price of such flexibilty. Furthermore, we will see some explicit examples of such "universal protocols" for some concrete goals.
(Joint work with Oded Goldreich and Madhu Sudan.)
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