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of 13 10/08/2013MSRNE 5 th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty1 Communication Amid Uncertainty Madhu Sudan Microsoft Research

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of 13 Reliable Communication? Problem from the 1940s: Advent of digital age. Problem from the 1940s: Advent of digital age. Communication media are always noisy Communication media are always noisy But digital information less tolerant to noise! But digital information less tolerant to noise! 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty2 AliceAlice BobBob We are not ready We are now ready

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of 13 (Mathematical) Theory of Communication [Shannon, 1948] [Shannon, 1948] Questions considered: Questions considered: How to compress information (to eliminate common knowledge of sender and receiver) and minimize #bits communicated? How to compress information (to eliminate common knowledge of sender and receiver) and minimize #bits communicated? How to detect errors injected by communication channel? How to detect errors injected by communication channel? How to correct them? How to correct them? Fundamental discoveries: Fundamental discoveries: Bit, Entropy, Mutual Information, Coding, Decoding … Bit, Entropy, Mutual Information, Coding, Decoding … Driver of research and technology for 65 years! Driver of research and technology for 65 years! 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty3

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of 13 Uncertainty in Communication? Always an issue … but usually uncertainty in channel of communication. Always an issue … but usually uncertainty in channel of communication. Lately, however … Also have to worry about uncertainty of communicating parties about each other. Lately, however … Also have to worry about uncertainty of communicating parties about each other. Communicating with printer: What format does it like the document? Communicating with printer: What format does it like the document? E.g.: How would you like to archive your family photographs digitally when you are uncertain which format will be viewable? Would you compress? E.g.: How would you like to archive your family photographs digitally when you are uncertain which format will be viewable? Would you compress? New class of questions … new solutions needed. New class of questions … new solutions needed. Often natural communication encounters/solves these problems. How? Often natural communication encounters/solves these problems. How? First, a new model. First, a new model. 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty4

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of 13 Modelling uncertainty Classical Shannon Model 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty5 A B Channel B2B2B2B2 AkAkAkAk A3A3A3A3 A2A2A2A2 A1A1A1A1 B1B1B1B1 B3B3B3B3 BjBjBjBj Uncertain Communication Model New Class of Problems New challenges Needs more attention!

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of 13 Example 1: Communication with uncertain priors 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty6

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of 13 Example: Compression 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty7 A B B2B2B2B2 AkAkAkAk A3A3A3A3 A2A2A2A2 A1A1A1A1 B1B1B1B1 B3B3B3B3 BjBjBjBj

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of 13 Flavor of results 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty8 A B B2B2B2B2 AkAkAkAk A3A3A3A3 A2A2A2A2 A1A1A1A1 B1B1B1B1 B3B3B3B3 BjBjBjBj

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of 13 Misunderstanding and Meaning Bits lead to action Bits lead to action How can sender ensure receiver understands instruction and acts accordingly? How can sender ensure receiver understands instruction and acts accordingly? Incentive? Incentive? Receiver may not want to follow senders instructions. Receiver may not want to follow senders instructions. Or receiver may not understand … Or receiver may not understand … Goal-oriented comm. [GoldreichJubaS.12] Goal-oriented comm. [GoldreichJubaS.12] Sender must have goal + sense progress. Sender must have goal + sense progress. Achievement of goal is functional defn. of communicating meaningfully. Achievement of goal is functional defn. of communicating meaningfully. Sufficient conditions for comm. meaningfully. Sufficient conditions for comm. meaningfully. 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty9 A B B2B2B2B2 AkAkAkAk A3A3A3A3 A2A2A2A2 A1A1A1A1 B1B1B1B1 B3B3B3B3 BjBjBjBj

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of 13 Example: Communication as Coordination Game [Leshno,S.13] Two players playing series of coordination games Two players playing series of coordination games Coordination? Coordination? Two players simultaneously choose 0/1 actions. Two players simultaneously choose 0/1 actions. Win if both agree : Win if both agree : Alices payoff: not less if they agree Alices payoff: not less if they agree Bobs payoff: strictly higher if they agree. Bobs payoff: strictly higher if they agree. Knowledge about each other? Knowledge about each other? Dont know each others strategy exactly. Dont know each others strategy exactly. But know set of reasonable strategies from which the other players chooses one. How should Bob play? But know set of reasonable strategies from which the other players chooses one. How should Bob play? Can he hope to learn? After all Alice is reasonable? Can he hope to learn? After all Alice is reasonable? Specifically: Always coordinate after finite # of initial miscoordinations? Specifically: Always coordinate after finite # of initial miscoordinations? 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty10 A B B2B2B2B2 AkAkAkAk A3A3A3A3 A2A2A2A2 A1A1A1A1 B1B1B1B1 B3B3B3B3 BjBjBjBj

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of 13 Example: Communication as Coordination Game [Leshno,S.13] Two players playing series of coordination games Two players playing series of coordination games Coordination? Coordination? … Knowledge about each other? Knowledge about each other? Reasonable Reasonable Can Bob learn to coordinate, while being reasonable? Can Bob learn to coordinate, while being reasonable? Theorem: Theorem: Not Deterministically (under mild general assumptions) Not Deterministically (under mild general assumptions) Alice may be trying to learn Bob at same time! Alice may be trying to learn Bob at same time! Yes, with randomness (for many broad notions of reasonability: computably-coordinatable, poly-time coordinatable etc.) Yes, with randomness (for many broad notions of reasonability: computably-coordinatable, poly-time coordinatable etc.) Can break symmetries with randomness. Can break symmetries with randomness. 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty11 A B B2B2B2B2 AkAkAkAk A3A3A3A3 A2A2A2A2 A1A1A1A1 B1B1B1B1 B3B3B3B3 BjBjBjBj

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of 13 Conclusions Communication, when mixed with computation (intelligence), leads to new mathematical problems. Communication, when mixed with computation (intelligence), leads to new mathematical problems. Model many aspects of natural communication; and many challenges in the digital age. Model many aspects of natural communication; and many challenges in the digital age. Lots of work to be done! Lots of work to be done! 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty12 A B B2B2B2B2 AkAkAkAk A3A3A3A3 A2A2A2A2 A1A1A1A1 B1B1B1B1 B3B3B3B3 BjBjBjBj

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of 13 Thank You! 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty13

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of 13 10/08/2013MSRNE 5th Anniversary: Communication Amid Uncertainty X,1X,1X,1X,1 Z,0Z,0Z,0Z,0 W,1W,1W,1W,1 Y,0Y,0Y,0Y,00

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