Transfer entropy and transient limits of computation

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This artice is free to access.


Transfer entropy is a recently introduced information-theoretic measure quantifying directed statistical coherence between spatiotemporal processes, and is widely used in diverse fields ranging from finance to neuroscience. However, its relationships to fundamental limits of computation, such as Landauer's limit, remain unknown. Here we show that in order to increase transfer entropy (predictability) by one bit, heat flow must match or exceed Landauer's limit. Importantly, we generalise Landauer's limit to bi-directional information dynamics for non-equilibrium processes, revealing that the limit applies to prediction, in addition to retrodiction (information erasure). Furthermore, the results are related to negentropy, and to Bremermann's limit and the Bekenstein bound, producing, perhaps surprisingly, lower bounds on the computational deceleration and information loss incurred during an increase in predictability about the process. The identified relationships set new computational limits in terms of fundamental physical quantities, and establish transfer entropy as a central measure connecting information theory, thermodynamics and theory of computation.




Prokopenko, M., & Lizier, J. T. (2014). Transfer entropy and transient limits of computation. Scientific Reports, 4.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free