The yearly conference of the New Frameworks of Rationality program will take place again in Etelsen (Bremen) next month. This year I’ll be talking about generalized entropies and rational information search (joint work with Jonathan Nelson, Björn Meder, Gustavo Cevolani, and Katya Tentori). Here is the schedule, with lots of great speakers and presentations. Below our abstract.
Vincenzo Crupi, Jonathan Nelson, Björn Meder, Gustavo Cevolani, and Katya Tentori
Shannon and beyond: Generalized entropies and rational information search
Abstract. We present a biparametric family of measures known as Sharma-Mittal entropies. This is a very comprehensive framework in contemporary information theory. It includes a number of important special cases arising across different fields such as generalized statistical thermodynamics, the study of biological and ecological diversity, and analyses of political and demographic concentration/fragmentation. Mathematically, relevant parameter settings in the Sharma-Mittal formalism generate classical Boltzmann/Shannon entropy as well as Rényi and Tsallis entropies, and more besides. We discuss applications to human reasoning, where entropy represents epistemic uncertainty and uncertainty reduction, in turn, is a major kind of epistemic utility. We argue that each of the Sharma-Mittal parameters can be given meaningful theoretical interpretations in this domain. We also explain how a variety of models ensue concerning the expected informational value of experiments, thus the value of information search options. Finally, we explicate formal and conceptual connections with related branches of the literature, including probabilistic theories of confirmation and scoring rules.