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About this Course

Page history last edited by sidjaggi 12 years, 8 months ago

IEG5154 Information Theory

Semester: Spring 2009



Course Title: IEG 5154 Information Theory

Description: The course aims to cover


  1. Fundamental definitions of information measure (entropy, conditional entropy, mutual information) and their properties.
  2. Lossless Source Coding/Data Compression -- theory and algorithms
  3. Channel Coding/Error-Correcting Codes/Coding theory
  4. Rate-distortion theory.
  5. Miscellaneous advanced topics depending on time and interest (Kolmogorov Complexity, Universal Portfolio Theory, Network Coding, ...)



Content, highlighting fundamental concepts (not necessarily in the chronological order we will use in classroom discussions)




Contents/fundamental concepts

  • Information theoretic quantities







  • Lossless source coding





  • Channel coding






  • Rate-distortion theory


  • Entropy, conditional entropy, mutual information, divergence, differential entropy, Markov/ergodic sources, properties (chain rules, positivity, convexity, Jensen's inequality, Fano's inequality, conditioning, data processing inequality, Law of large numbers, Sanov's theorem, AEP, entropy rates) 


  • Achievability and converse proofs, Kraft inequality, codes -- Shannon-Fano-Elias, Huffman, Arithmetic, Lempel-Ziv (universal codes)


  • Hamming codes, channel capacity (achievability and converse proofs), zero-error capacity, joint source-channel coding, feedback capacity, Gaussian channels (parallel channels, coloured noise)


  • Scalar/vector quantization, rate-distortion theorem (achievability and converse)


Learning outcomes:


  1. Demonstrate ability to manipulate basic information-theoretic quantities to prove relevant theorems.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of foundational topics in information theory, and an ability to use the theoretic tools required to prove corresponding theorems.
  3. Use the above to characterize and design information storage, manipulation and transmission systems.








Learning activities


Problem Sets

Online Activities (Scribe Notes/Discussion)




in class



in/out class



out of class



out of class





















M: Mandatory activity in the course

O: Optional activity

NA: Not applicable





Assessment scheme

Task nature



Problem sets


Scribe Notes

Class participation

Final Exam 

In-class problems, handed in next class

Collaborative homeworks

Scribe notes of a particular lecture

In-class discussion/Discussion on wiki


20% (8)

20% (4)

20% (2)




Learning resources for students

Recommended Textbooks (first two available in the CUHK Bookstore, third free online):

  1. Elements of Information Theory by T M Cover & J A Thomas, Wiley 2006
  2. Information Theory and Network Coding by Raymond W. Yeung, Springer 2008

    3. Lecture Notes on Network Information Theory by Abbas El Gamal & Young-Han Kim, 2010








Feedback for evaluation:



Students are welcome to express their comments and suggestions via the following formal and informal feedback channels:



  • Two course evaluations. First one to be conducted in the middle of the term and the second one at the end of the term. Students are encouraged to provide specific comments and/or suggestions in addition to the numeric ratings.
  • At the end of each lecture there will be a single question feedback slip given to each student.
  • Students are also encouraged to provide feedbacks using informal channels, such as email/discussion to instructor/tutor, and via the talk pages on the class wiki.




Tentative Course Schedule (will edit as we go along)

5 Jan Logistics/Introduction. Worst-case compression. Binary trees.  
9 Jan Method of types, typical/atypical sets, sizes/probabilities, Sanov's Theorem 11.1-11.5, Cover/Thomas 
12 Jan 

Sanov's Theorem -- Achievability/Converse of Source Coding Theorem

11.1-11.5, 2.1-2.6, 2.8, 2.10, Cover/Thomas 
16 Jan Entropy definitions in terms of typical sets, properties.  11.1-11.5, 2.1-2.6, 2.8, 2.10, Cover/Thomas 
19 Jan  Properties of entropy-type functions. 2.1-2.6, 2.8, 2.10, Cover/Thomas 
23 Jan  Information-theoretic proof of Source Coding Theorem  7.1-7.7, 7.9, Cover/Thomas
2 Feb  Discussion of Channel Coding Theorem 7.1-7.7, 7.9 Cover/Thomas  
6 Feb  Proof of Channel Coding Theorem 7.6-7.7,7.9 Cover/Thomas 
9 Feb  Classifications and Properties of Per-Symbol Source Coding Schemes 5.1-5.5 Cover/Thomas 
13 Feb  Shannon Code, Huffman Code  5.6 Cover/Thomas 
20 Feb  Entropy Rates of a Stochastic Process  4 Cover/Thomas 
23 Feb  Arithmetic Code, Weak Typicality  5.9, 13.3, 3 Cover/Thomas 




Teachers’ or TA’s contact details





Prof. Sidharth Jaggi

Office Location:

SHB Room 706




jaggi [AT] ie {dot} cuhk {dot} edu {dot} hk

Teaching Time and Venue:

Mon 11:30am to 1:00pm, (ELB 202),

Fri 3:30pm to 5:00pm, (ERB 703).



Other information:

Office Hours: by appointment



Teaching Assistant/Tutor:




Mr. Cho Yiu Ng (Michael)

Office Location:

SHB Room 826A




michaelng [AT] ieee {dot} org 



Other information:

Office Hours: Thu 5:30pm-6:15pm


A facility for posting course announcements

Course announcements and materials will be posted on the course wiki https://ieg5154.pbwiki.com






Academic honesty and plagiarism

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/policy/academichonesty/ . With each assignment, students will be required to submit a statement that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.





Additional Resources: 


Comments (3)

MEI Yuchen said

at 4:43 pm on Jan 6, 2009

Do we have tutorial class?

Cho Yiu Ng said

at 7:36 pm on Jan 6, 2009

No. But I reserve Thursday 5:30pm-6:15pm to be the office hour for this course. I'll be in my office to offer any helps for this course.

sidjaggi said

at 7:46 pm on Jan 6, 2009

Also, you're welcome to make appointments via email to see me or Michael any time you have problems that can't be dealt with in/immediately after class. My calendar is at http://calendar.jaggi.name

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