Decomposing information into copying versus transformation

A. Kolchinsky, B. Corominas-Murtra, Journal of the Royal Society Interface 17 (2020).


Journal Article | Published | English

Scopus indexed
Author
Department
Abstract
In many real-world systems, information can be transmitted in two qualitatively different ways: by copying or by transformation. Copying occurs when messages are transmitted without modification, e.g. when an offspring receives an unaltered copy of a gene from its parent. Transformation occurs when messages are modified systematically during transmission, e.g. when mutational biases occur during genetic replication. Standard information-theoretic measures do not distinguish these two modes of information transfer, although they may reflect different mechanisms and have different functional consequences. Starting from a few simple axioms, we derive a decomposition of mutual information into the information transmitted by copying versus the information transmitted by transformation. We begin with a decomposition that applies when the source and destination of the channel have the same set of messages and a notion of message identity exists. We then generalize our decomposition to other kinds of channels, which can involve different source and destination sets and broader notions of similarity. In addition, we show that copy information can be interpreted as the minimal work needed by a physical copying process, which is relevant for understanding the physics of replication. We use the proposed decomposition to explore a model of amino acid substitution rates. Our results apply to any system in which the fidelity of copying, rather than simple predictability, is of critical relevance.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2020-01-29
Journal Title
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Acknowledgement
AK was supported by Grant No. FQXi-RFP-1622 from the FQXi foundation, and Grant No. CHE-1648973 from the U.S. National Science Foundation. AK would like to thank the Santa Fe Institute for supporting this research. The authors thank Jordi Fortuny, Rudolf Hanel, Joshua Garland, and Blai Vidiella for helpful discussions, as well as the anonymous reviewers for their insightful suggestions.
Volume
17
Issue
162
Article Number
0623
eISSN
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Kolchinsky A, Corominas-Murtra B. Decomposing information into copying versus transformation. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 2020;17(162). doi:10.1098/rsif.2019.0623
Kolchinsky, A., & Corominas-Murtra, B. (2020). Decomposing information into copying versus transformation. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 17(162). https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0623
Kolchinsky, Artemy, and Bernat Corominas-Murtra. “Decomposing Information into Copying versus Transformation.” Journal of the Royal Society Interface 17, no. 162 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2019.0623.
A. Kolchinsky and B. Corominas-Murtra, “Decomposing information into copying versus transformation,” Journal of the Royal Society Interface, vol. 17, no. 162, 2020.
Kolchinsky A, Corominas-Murtra B. 2020. Decomposing information into copying versus transformation. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 17(162).
Kolchinsky, Artemy, and Bernat Corominas-Murtra. “Decomposing Information into Copying versus Transformation.” Journal of the Royal Society Interface, vol. 17, no. 162, 0623, The Royal Society, 2020, doi:10.1098/rsif.2019.0623.
All files available under the following license(s):
Copyright Statement:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. [...]

Link(s) to Main File(s)
Access Level
OA Open Access

Export

Marked Publications

Open Data IST Research Explorer

Sources

PMID: 31964273
PubMed | Europe PMC

arXiv 1903.10693

Search this title in

Google Scholar