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Entropy 2009, 11(4), 931-944; doi:10.3390/e11040931
Article

Maximum Entropy Production as an Inference Algorithm that Translates Physical Assumptions into Macroscopic Predictions: Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Received: 23 October 2009; Accepted: 23 November 2009 / Published: 27 November 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is Maximum Entropy Production and How Should We Apply It?)
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Abstract: Is Maximum Entropy Production (MEP) a physical principle? In this paper I tentatively suggest it is not, on the basis that MEP is equivalent to Jaynes’ Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) inference algorithm that passively translates physical assumptions into macroscopic predictions, as applied to non-equilibrium systems. MaxEnt itself has no physical content; disagreement between MaxEnt predictions and experiment falsifies the physical assumptions, not MaxEnt. While it remains to be shown rigorously that MEP is indeed equivalent to MaxEnt for systems arbitrarily far from equilibrium, work in progress tentatively supports this conclusion. In terms of its role within non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, MEP might then be better understood as Messenger of Essential Physics.
Keywords: maximum entropy; maximum entropy production; non-equilibrium; statistical inference; statistical mechanics maximum entropy; maximum entropy production; non-equilibrium; statistical inference; statistical mechanics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dewar, R.C. Maximum Entropy Production as an Inference Algorithm that Translates Physical Assumptions into Macroscopic Predictions: Don’t Shoot the Messenger. Entropy 2009, 11, 931-944.

AMA Style

Dewar RC. Maximum Entropy Production as an Inference Algorithm that Translates Physical Assumptions into Macroscopic Predictions: Don’t Shoot the Messenger. Entropy. 2009; 11(4):931-944.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dewar, Roderick C. 2009. "Maximum Entropy Production as an Inference Algorithm that Translates Physical Assumptions into Macroscopic Predictions: Don’t Shoot the Messenger." Entropy 11, no. 4: 931-944.


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