TitleA New Framework for Shannon Information Theory
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2004
Series TitleNRL Memorandum Report
Document NumberNRL/MR/5540-04-8748

Barwise and Seligman proposed a very general qualitative theory of information flow (in distributed systems) while Shannon proposed a very general quantitative theory for communication flow. The two kinds of flow are not synonymous, with information flow being the more general of the two. We synthesize a new theory from these two theories so that the qualitative and quantitative analysis use the same theory structures. The main advantages are (1) Shannon theory gets a more expressive framework within which to operate, (2) Barwise/Seligman theory gets to take advantage of quantitative mechanisms. The resultant theory has direct applications to steganography and covert channels although the development of these applications will appear in a subsequent paper.