Information Decomposition: A Tool to Dissect Cardiovascular and Cardiorespiratory Complexity

  • Luca FaesEmail author
  • Giandomenico Nollo
  • Alberto Porta


This chapter reports some recent developments of information-theoretic concepts applied to the description of coupled dynamical systems, which allow to decompose the entropy of an assigned target system into components reflecting the information stored in the system and the information transferred to it from the other systems, as well as the nature (synergistic or redundant) of the information transferred to the target. The decomposition leads to well-defined measures of information dynamics which in the chapter will be defined theoretically, computed in simulations of linear Gaussian systems and implemented in practice through the application to heart period, arterial pressure and respiratory time series. The application leads to decompose the information carried by heart rate variability into amounts reflecting cardiac dynamics, vascular and respiratory effects on these dynamics, as well as the interaction between cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory effects. The analysis of head-up and head-down tilt test protocols demonstrates the relevance of information decomposition in dissecting cardiovascular control mechanisms and accept or reject physiological hypotheses about their activity.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Faes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Giandomenico Nollo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alberto Porta
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Bruno Kessler FoundationTrentoItaly
  2. 2.BIOtech, Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Sciences for HealthUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  4. 4.Department of Cardiothoracic, Vascular Anesthesia and Intensive CareIRCCS Policlinico San DonatoMilanItaly

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