artificial languages


The current issue of IR Watch – The Newsletter should arrive to subscribers today or at the latest tomorrow. IRW reaches research centers from the academic and industry “world”. Centers can then forward the newsletter to their members, many of which elect to have their own subscription. That’s a huge reach. And the best part is that IRW is free.

This issue of IRW covers some artificial language algorithms originally investigated by Claude Shannon in their infamous work A Mathematical Theory of Communication.

In that work, frequencies associated to a pool of strings were used. In his tests, Shannon used the 26 letters from the English alphabet plus the space. He also used entire words.

Despite of their simplicity, students often have problems understanding these algorithms. In this issue we show how teachers and students can reproduce Shannon’s algorithms. To adhere to his experiments, we reproduce his comments and findings.

Enjoy it.