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Information, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2013), Pages 1-123

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Philosophy of Information: Views and Reflections on the Work of Luciano Floridi
Information 2013, 4(1), 31-32; doi:10.3390/info4010031
Received: 17 December 2012 / Accepted: 26 December 2012 / Published: 7 January 2013
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Abstract In this collection of selected articles, we discuss some aspects of the extensive work of Luciano Floridi, with special emphasis on how it relates to and has influenced research work on Computer Science. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Complexity over Uncertainty in Generalized Representational Information Theory (GRIT): A Structure-Sensitive General Theory of Information
Information 2013, 4(1), 1-30; doi:10.3390/info4010001
Received: 9 August 2012 / Revised: 12 November 2012 / Accepted: 12 December 2012 / Published: 20 December 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
What is information? Although researchers have used the construct of information liberally to refer to pertinent forms of domain-specific knowledge, relatively few have attempted to generalize and standardize the construct. Shannon and Weaver (1949) offered the best known attempt at a quantitative generalization
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What is information? Although researchers have used the construct of information liberally to refer to pertinent forms of domain-specific knowledge, relatively few have attempted to generalize and standardize the construct. Shannon and Weaver (1949) offered the best known attempt at a quantitative generalization in terms of the number of discriminable symbols required to communicate the state of an uncertain event. This idea, although useful, does not capture the role that structural context and complexity play in the process of understanding an event as being informative. In what follows, we discuss the limitations and futility of any generalization (and particularly, Shannon’s) that is not based on the way that agents extract patterns from their environment. More specifically, we shall argue that agent concept acquisition, and not the communication of states of uncertainty, lie at the heart of generalized information, and that the best way of characterizing information is via the relative gain or loss in concept complexity that is experienced when a set of known entities (regardless of their nature or domain of origin) changes. We show that Representational Information Theory perfectly captures this crucial aspect of information and conclude with the first generalization of RIT to continuous domains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information: Its Different Modes and Its Relation to Meaning)
Open AccessArticle Semantic Information and the Trivialization of Logic: Floridi on the Scandal of Deduction
Information 2013, 4(1), 33-59; doi:10.3390/info4010033
Received: 19 November 2012 / Accepted: 27 December 2012 / Published: 11 January 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (302 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we discuss Floridi’s views concerning semantic information in the light of a recent contribution (in collaboration with the present author) [1] that defies the traditional view of deductive reasoning as “analytic” or “tautological” and construes it as an informative, albeit
[...] Read more.
In this paper we discuss Floridi’s views concerning semantic information in the light of a recent contribution (in collaboration with the present author) [1] that defies the traditional view of deductive reasoning as “analytic” or “tautological” and construes it as an informative, albeit non-empirical, activity. We argue that this conception paves the way for a more realistic notion of semantic information where the “ideal agents” that are assumed by the standard view can be indefinitely approximated by real ones equipped with growing computational resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle On the Predictability of Classical Propositional Logic
Information 2013, 4(1), 60-74; doi:10.3390/info4010060
Received: 17 November 2012 / Revised: 13 December 2012 / Accepted: 31 December 2012 / Published: 14 January 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (965 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work we provide a statistical form of empirical analysis of classical propositional logic decision methods called SAT solvers. This work is perceived as an empirical counterpart of a theoretical movement, called the enduring scandal of deduction, that opposes considering Boolean Logic
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In this work we provide a statistical form of empirical analysis of classical propositional logic decision methods called SAT solvers. This work is perceived as an empirical counterpart of a theoretical movement, called the enduring scandal of deduction, that opposes considering Boolean Logic as trivial in any sense. For that, we study the predictability of classical logic, which we take to be the distribution of the runtime of its decision process. We present a series of experiments that determines the run distribution of SAT solvers and discover a varying landscape of distributions, following the known existence of a transition of easy-hard-easy cases of propositional formulas. We find clear distributions for the easy areas and the transitions easy-hard and hard-easy. The hard cases are shown to be hard also for the detection of statistical distributions, indicating that several independent processes may be at play in those cases. Full article
Open AccessArticle Epistemological Levelism and Dynamical Complex Systems: The Case of Crowd Behaviour
Information 2013, 4(1), 75-93; doi:10.3390/info4010075
Received: 19 November 2012 / Revised: 13 December 2012 / Accepted: 7 January 2013 / Published: 15 January 2013
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Abstract
The main aim of this paper is to show how the design and creation of computational models to study and simulate of the behaviour of dynamical complex systems, and in particular crowds of pedestrian, actually implicitly employs elements of a framework introduced by
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The main aim of this paper is to show how the design and creation of computational models to study and simulate of the behaviour of dynamical complex systems, and in particular crowds of pedestrian, actually implicitly employs elements of a framework introduced by Luciano Floridi in his paper “The Method of Levels of Abstraction”. The example of the computer based simulation of the complex phenomenon of crowd dynamics and the related knowledge requiring different abstract levels and representation will be introduced in order to show how concepts like observables and system behaviour are commonly employed to compare and evaluate simulation models. Full article
Open AccessArticle Reliability, Validity, Comparability and Practical Utility of Cybercrime-Related Data, Metrics, and Information
Information 2013, 4(1), 117-123; doi:10.3390/info4010117
Received: 20 December 2012 / Revised: 7 February 2013 / Accepted: 7 February 2013 / Published: 11 February 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (83 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With an increasing pervasiveness, prevalence and severity of cybercrimes, various metrics, measures and statistics have been developed and used to measure various aspects of this phenomenon. Cybercrime-related data, metrics, and information, however, pose important and difficult dilemmas regarding the issues of reliability, validity,
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With an increasing pervasiveness, prevalence and severity of cybercrimes, various metrics, measures and statistics have been developed and used to measure various aspects of this phenomenon. Cybercrime-related data, metrics, and information, however, pose important and difficult dilemmas regarding the issues of reliability, validity, comparability and practical utility. While many of the issues of the cybercrime economy are similar to other underground and underworld industries, this economy also has various unique aspects. For one thing, this industry also suffers from a problem partly rooted in the incredibly broad definition of the term “cybercrime”. This article seeks to provide insights and analysis into this phenomenon, which is expected to advance our understanding into cybercrime-related information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Information and Communications Technology)

Review

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Open AccessReview The Teleodynamics of Language, Culture, Technology and Science (LCT&S)
Information 2013, 4(1), 94-116; doi:10.3390/info4010094
Received: 8 November 2012 / Revised: 30 January 2013 / Accepted: 2 February 2013 / Published: 7 February 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Logan [1] in his book The Extended Mind developed the hypothesis that language, culture, technology and science can be treated as organisms that evolve and reproduce themselves. This idea is extended by making use of the notion of teleodynamics that Deacon [2] introduced
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Logan [1] in his book The Extended Mind developed the hypothesis that language, culture, technology and science can be treated as organisms that evolve and reproduce themselves. This idea is extended by making use of the notion of teleodynamics that Deacon [2] introduced and developed in his book Incomplete Nature to explain the nature of life, sentience, mind and a self that acts in its own interest. It is suggested that language, culture, technology and science (LCT&S) like living organisms also act in their own self-interest, are self-correcting and are to a certain degree autonomous even though they are obligate symbionts with their human hosts. Specifically, it will be argued that LCT&S are essentially teleodynamic systems, which Deacon defines as “self-creating, self-maintaining, self-reproducing, individuated systems [2] (p. 325)”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information: Its Different Modes and Its Relation to Meaning)

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