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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Computational Mechanics of Input–Output Processes: Structured Transformations and the ϵ-Transducer

  • Author(s): Barnett, N
  • Crutchfield, JP
  • et al.

© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Computational mechanics quantifies structure in a stochastic process via its causal states, leading to the process’s minimal, optimal predictor—the (Formula presented.)-machine. We extend computational mechanics to communication channels coupling two processes, obtaining an analogous optimal model—the (Formula presented.)-transducer—of the stochastic mapping between them. Here, we lay the foundation of a structural analysis of communication channels, treating joint processes and processes with input. The result is a principled structural analysis of mechanisms that support information flow between processes. It is the first in a series on the structural information theory of memoryful channels, channel composition, and allied conditional information measures.

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