Information theory the big idea: Reading Answers with Explanation

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IELTS Reading Passage – Information theory the big idea

   Information theory – the big idea

Information theory lies at everyone’s heart in everything-like DVD  players and to the genetic DNA. It was central to the development of science and communications.

 A. In April 2002 an event was conducted to demonstrate the applications of information theory. In 1977 the space probe Voyager I was launched. It had sent back the images of Jupiter and Saturn and then came out of the solar system in a one-way mission to the star. 5 years after it started to expose the freezing temperature and show its age. NASA experts thought that they had to do something with their probe forever and that sensors and circuits is on the edge of failing condition. As a result, it was to get information to voyager I to guide it to use the spares to change the failing parts. This was not an easy task because it was 12 billion kilometres away from earth. The radio dish belonged to the NASA deep space network.  The information was sent into the depth of space. It took over 1 hour to reach its target even though it was travelling at the speed of light which is far beyond the orbit of Pluto

B. In history it was the longest process of repair and a triumph for NASA engineers. But shows an American Communications engineer, Claude Shannon, who died just a year ago, and it highlights the astonishing power. Shannon was born in 1916 in Petoskey, Michigan, he showed his talent for maths and for building gadgets. When still a student he made breakthroughs in the foundation of computer technology at Bell Laboratories, he developed data theory but shunned the results as acclaim. In 1940 he created a full science of communication, it was infused with DVDs to satellite communication to bar codes-in short,  where data has to be conveyed correctly. 

C. In the year 1939,  the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Shannon when he was 22 years old held his graduate engineering student, it all seems light years away from the responsibility for his work. Shannon set out with an apparently simple aim: the correct meaning of the concept of data. The most fundamental form of information, whether it is true or false, is in the form of a binary unit like 1 or 0.  Confusion for transmitting information from place to place.Shannon as discovered something surprising in hid process, it is always possible to data will get through random interference-’unwanted sound’     

D. Unwanted sound which is also called noise, it interferes in genuine information. Effects of noise in information theory generalised this idea via theorem capture with help of mathematical precision. Shannon has shown that especially when the noise sets a limit rate at which the information is passed along communication channels with error-free. It depends on the strength of the wave and unwanted sound travelling down the communication channel, and on its dimensions. As a result, the limit is given in for per second by units of bit, and the maximum rate of error-free communication is given wave and unwanted sound levels. Shannon used a trick to find out the way for packing up coding information to cope with the ruin of unwanted sounds, the communication system is used when it stayed within the information-carrying capacity capability. 

E. Scientists have devised many methods like coding methods over the years. They also proved that those methods played an important role in many technologies. The voyager spacecraft transmitted data using codes that added one additional bit for each and every single bit of information,  as a result, an error rate of just one bit in 10000 and it has stunningly clear pictures of the planets. Other codes have become part of day-to-day life, such as the universal product code or barcode, it is a simple error-detecting system that ensures supermarket checkout lasers can easily read the price even if it is a crumple bag of crisps. Recently engineers made a major breakthrough by discovering code called turbo codes in the year 1993- it is very close to Shannon’s ultimate limit of the maximum rate that data can be transmitted reliably, and now it is  playing a major role in the mobile video phone revolution.  

F.   Shannon also laid the base of more fruitful ways of storing information, by getting rid of excess (‘ redundant’) bits from data which give little real information. ‘I CN C U’ like shown in mobile phone text messages, it can be more possible to leave out the data without losing correct meaning. Like correcting mistakes, even messages have become too obscure. Shannon has shown how to calculate the limit and he also shown how to minimise methods that cram the maximum into the minimum space.     

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Information theory the big idea reading questions

Questions 1-6

Reading Passage has six paragraphs, A-F. Which paragraph contains the following information? Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet. 

1.  an explanation of the factors affecting the transmission of information
2.  an example of how unnecessary information can be omitted
3.  a reference to Shannon’s attitude to fame
4.  details of a machine capable of interpreting incomplete information
5. a detailed account of an incident involving information theory
6. refers to what Shannon initially intended to achieve in his research

Questions 7-11

Complete the notes below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 7-11 on your answer sheet.

•    The probe transmitted pictures of both 7__________ , then left the 8___________ 
•    The freezing temperatures were found to have a negative effect on parts of the space probe.
•    Scientists feared that both the 9____________  were about to stop working.
•    The only hope was to tell the probe to replace them with 10_____________  – but distance made communication with the probe difficult.
•    A 11____________  was used to transmit the message at the speed of light.
•    The message was picked up by the probe and the switchover took place.

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Questions 12-14

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?

In boxes 12-14 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE    if the statement agrees with the information 
FALSE    if the statement contradicts the information 
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this 

12 The concept of describing something as true or false was the starting point for Shannon in his attempts to send messages over distances.
13  The amount of information that can be sent in a given time period is determined with reference to the signal strength and noise level.
14    Products have now been developed which can convey more information than Shannon had anticipated.

Enhance your skills in identifying information as True, False, or Not Given. Click here to discover expert strategies and techniques for mastering this question type in the IELTS Reading section.

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Information theory the big idea reading answers

1. The answer to 1st locating information question is D
2. The answer to 2nd locating information question is F
3. The answer to 3rd locating information question is B
4. The answer to the 4th locating information question is E
5. Answer: A The answer to the 5th locating information question is A
6. The answer to the 6th locating information question is C
7. The answer to the 7th note completion question is Jupiter and Saturn
8. The answer to the 8th note completion question is Solar system
9. The answer to the 9th note completion question is sensor and circuit
10. The answer to the 10th note completion question is spares
11. The answer to the 11th note completion question is radio dish
12. The answer to the 12th True False Not Given question is True
13. The answer to the 13th True False Not Given question is True
14. The answer to the 14th True False Not Given question is False


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