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Re: The meaning of "representation"

From: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>
Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2007 19:37:52 +0000
Message-ID: <4755AC90.7070007@musc.edu>
To: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
CC: Chimezie Ogbuji <chimezie@gmail.com>, Mikael Nilsson <mikael@nilsson.name>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org

noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com wrote:
>> Second, information is embedded in a message, i..e, it is the 
>> content of the message, yes?
>>     
Here, I am trying to refer back to what Tim said in an earlier email.
>
> No.  Assuming binary coding is used, the message is a sequence of bits. It 
> is presumed that the sender and receiver agree in advance on the range of 
> possible information values (my term, not Shannon's), that a given message 
> might convey;  each distinct message essentially selects one of those 
> values.    From Shannon's 1948 paper [1]:
>   
I take the 'no' means that the message is not embedded?

I snip the rest (to shorten the message) because I agree your 
interpretation of Shannon's theory. However, I disagree that the 
assumption that the number of messages, with regard to a URI's 
representations, is finite. In principle, I can use ONE bit message in 
conjunction with various content types to answer all your questions 
about the resource. From a communication point of view, a user do not 
have a pre-established context with the resource.

Second, even if the context is set, it still does not mean that the 
resource is 'information'.  IMHO, Shannon's theory is to study the 
capacity, but not the meaning, of information. But in semantic web, we 
only care the latter. Meaning is to be understood - to be processed, by 
our brain or by computers. Without this process, nothing can become 
information.

Xiaoshu  
Received on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 19:39:50 GMT

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