On the Origin of Ambiguity in Efficient Communication
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- Cite this article as:
- Fortuny, J. & Corominas-Murtra, B. J of Log Lang and Inf (2013) 22: 249. doi:10.1007/s10849-013-9179-3
This article studies the emergence of ambiguity in communication through the concept of logical irreversibility and within the framework of Shannon’s information theory. This leads us to a precise and general expression of the intuition behind Zipf’s vocabulary balance in terms of a symmetry equation between the complexities of the coding and the decoding processes that imposes an unavoidable amount of logical uncertainty in natural communication. Accordingly, the emergence of irreversible computations is required if the complexities of the coding and the decoding processes are balanced in a symmetric scenario, which means that the emergence of ambiguous codes is a necessary condition for natural communication to succeed.