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Author Goldreich, Oded ♦ Juba, Brendan ♦ Sudan, Madhu
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Copyright Year ©2012
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Subject Keyword Semantic communication ♦ Interoperability
Abstract We put forward a general theory of goal-oriented communication, where communication is not an end in itself, but rather a means to achieving some $\textit{goals}$ of the communicating parties. Focusing on goals provides a framework for addressing the problem of potential “misunderstanding” during communication, where the misunderstanding arises from lack of initial agreement on what protocol and/or language is being used in communication. In this context, “reliable communication” means overcoming any initial misunderstanding between parties towards achieving a given goal. Despite the enormous diversity among the goals of communication, we propose a simple model that captures all goals. In the simplest form of communication we consider, two parties, a $\textit{user}$ and a $\textit{server},$ attempt to communicate with each other in order to achieve some goal of the user. We show that any goal of communication can be modeled mathematically by introducing a third party, which we call the $\textit{referee},$ who hypothetically monitors the conversation between the user and the server and determines whether or not the goal has been achieved. Potential misunderstanding between the players is captured by allowing each player (the user/server) to come from a (potentially infinite) class of players such that each player is unaware which instantiation of the other it is talking to. We identify a main concept, which we call $\textit{sensing},$ that allows goals to be achieved even under misunderstanding. Informally, $\textit{sensing}$ captures the user's ability (potentially using help from the server) to simulate the referee's assessment on whether the communication is achieving the goal. We show that when the user can sense progress, the goal of communication can be achieved despite initial misunderstanding. We also show that in certain settings sensing is necessary for overcoming such initial misunderstanding. Our results significantly extend the scope of the investigation started by Juba and Sudan (STOC 2008) who studied the foregoing phenomenon in the case of a single specific goal. Our study shows that their main suggestion, that misunderstanding can be detected and possibly corrected by focusing on the goal, can be proved in full generality.
ISSN 00045411
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2012-05-03
Publisher Place New York
e-ISSN 1557735X
Journal Journal of the ACM (JACM)
Volume Number 59
Issue Number 2
Page Count 65
Starting Page 1
Ending Page 65


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Source: ACM Digital Library