This paper explores the idea of information loss through data compression, as occurs in the course of any data analysis, illustrated via detailed consideration of the Binomial distribution. We examine situations where the full sequence of binomial outcomes is retained, situations where only the total number of successes is retained, and in-between situations. We show that a familiar decomposition of the Shannon entropy H
can be rewritten as a decomposition into
, or the total, lost and compressed (remaining) components, respectively. We relate this new decomposition to Landauer’s principle, and we discuss some implications for the “information-dynamic” theory being developed in connection with our broader program to develop a measure of statistical evidence on a properly calibrated scale.
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