KEY FEATURES: Wide interdisciplinary applicability with step-by-step examples drawn from a number of sciences and professional fields, including defense, medicine, education, and ecology, demonstrate the powerful application of information metrics to comparative case studies. Presentation of techniques that can be used broadly allows readers to apply what they learn in settings including business, finance, health care, environmental policy, security, and other settings where consequential decisions are made under conditions of uncertainty and complexity. Clear and accessible prose illustrated by concrete and carefully explained examples makes the methods easy to understand and immediately applicable. A concise review of the exciting intellectual foundations of information theory motivates student interest by linking research with critical real-world problems, from World War II cryptography to Cold War nuclear deterrence to solving modern cyber-security and strategic challenges. Appendices available both in the book and online provide a walkthrough of Excel or Google sheets for automating simple calculations, along with sample Excel sheets (Appendix A) and an implementation of the methods in the open source language, R (Appendix B).

Sensitivity Analysis—Entropy, Inference, and Error

Among the contributions of Claude Shannon’s unifying theory of communication was to show that information could be transmitted and decoded accurately, essentially without error. Prior to Shannon, it had been taken for granted that the more information you were sending or the faster you were trying to send it, the greater the probability of error. Shannon’s metric allowed for calculating the channel capacity that would be required for the transmission of any given information with “all but an arbitrarily small fraction of the errors” (Shannon, 1948, p. 20). Shannon’s insight paved the way for the digital revolution that allows huge amounts of information to zip around without consequential error. The concepts of information and error have, therefore, been intimately ...

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