Next Article in Journal
An Opportunistic Routing for Data Forwarding Based on Vehicle Mobility Association in Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks
Previous Article in Journal
MR Brain Image Segmentation: A Framework to Compare Different Clustering Techniques
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Information 2017, 8(4), 139; doi:10.3390/info8040139

Structural and Symbolic Information in the Context of the General Theory of Information

1
Department of Mathematics, University of California, 520 Portola Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2
Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, D-18119 Warnemünde, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 26 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [234 KB, uploaded 6 November 2017]

Abstract

The general theory of information, which includes syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, and many other special theories of information, provides theoretical and practical tools for discerning a very large diversity of different kinds, types, and classes of information. Some of these kinds, types, and classes are more important and some are less important. Two basic classes are formed by structural and symbolic information. While structural information is intrinsically imbedded in the structure of the corresponding object or domain, symbolic information is represented by symbols, the meaning of which is subject to arbitrary conventions between people. As a result, symbolic information exists only in the context of life, including technical and theoretical constructs created by humans. Structural information is related to any objects, systems, and processes regardless of the existence or presence of life. In this paper, properties of structural and symbolic information are explored in the formal framework of the general theory of information developed by Burgin because this theory offers more powerful instruments for this inquiry. Structural information is further differentiated into inherent, descriptive, and constructive types. Properties of correctness and uniqueness of these types are investigated. In addition, predictive power of symbolic information accumulated in the course of natural evolution is considered. The phenomenon of ritualization is described as a general transition process from structural to symbolic information. View Full-Text
Keywords: general theory of information; structural information; symbolic information; correctness; uniqueness; information conservation; prophecy; evolution; ritualization general theory of information; structural information; symbolic information; correctness; uniqueness; information conservation; prophecy; evolution; ritualization
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. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Burgin, M.; Feistel, R. Structural and Symbolic Information in the Context of the General Theory of Information. Information 2017, 8, 139.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Information EISSN 2078-2489 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top