If you’re interested in learning about statistical mechanics, graphical models, information theory, error-correcting codes, belief propagation, constraint satisfaction problems, or the connections between all those subjects, you should know about a couple of books that should be out soon, but for which you can already download extensive draft versions.

The first is Information, Physics, and Computation by Marc MÃ©zard and Andrea Montanari.

The second is Modern Coding Theory by Tom Richardson and Ruediger Urbanke.

I also recommend the tutorial on Modern Coding Theory: the Statistical Mechanics and Computer Science Points of View, by Montanari and Urbanke, from the lectures they gave at the 2006 Les Houches summer school.

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Tags: belief propagation, constraint satisfaction, Error-correcting Codes, graphical models, information theory, statistical mechanics

This entry was posted on September 13, 2007 at 9:07 am and is filed under Algorithms, Books, Computer Science, Error-correcting Codes, Inference, Reviews, Science, Statistical Physics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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September 28, 2007 at 9:37 pm |

[…] So what’s the idea behind these codes? There’s a lot to say, and many textbooks have been written on the subject, so I’ll only give the briefest of introductions. [Some excellent textbooks I recommend include MacKay’s textbook which I’ve already reviewed, McEliece’s “Theory of Information and Coding”, and Lin and Costello’s “Error Control Coding.” See also this post for two forthcoming books available online.] […]