• Offered by RS Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Engineering
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Parastoo Sadeghi
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

This course will introduce students to the main concepts of information theory. Information theory has many applications in communications theory and practice, computer science, and statistics. For example, it quantifies fundamental limits of reliable communications in the presence of noise without restricting the treatment to a particular method of transmission or reception. Specific topics include:

  1. Entropy, Relative Entropy, Mutual Information.

  2. Entropy Rates of a Stochastic Process.

  3. Data Compression and Source Coding.

  4. Channel Capacity and Channel Coding Theorem.

  5. Differential Entropy.

  6. Capacity of Gaussian Channels.

  7. Network Information Theory (such as Multiple-access Channel, Broadcast Channel, Relay Channel).

  8. Introduction to Network Coding (if time allows).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Students will be able to explain, model, use and evaluate the entropy for discrete as well as continuous sources, and for memoryless as well as stochastic sources
  2. Students will be able to explain, model, use and evaluate the mutual information for discrete as well as continuous systems, and for memoryless as well as stochastic systems
  3. Students will be able to explain, classify, and model fundamental methods that digital information is represented and compressed at the source, reliably transmitted through the channel, and finally reproduced at the destination with vanishing small probabilities of error
  4. Students will be able to fully analyse and evaluate the information capacity of basic communication channels and use random channel coding techniques to prove achievability of capacity
  5. Students will be able to analyse and evaluate the information capacity of selected more complicated point-to-multi-point channels such as multiple access/broadcast/relay channels and compare and critique how they differ in performance relative to the simpler point-to-point channels.
  6. Students will be able to apply their general knowledge in the course to evaluate how network coding is utilisied in wireline and wireless data networks for improved throughput, robustness and delay (if time allows)
  7. Students will be able to implement and test real-world data compression techniques, such as Lempel-Ziv coding.
  8. Students will be able to apply the broad principles of information representation, storage, and transfer learned in this course to evaluate, critique and design efficient complex wireless and wireline communication and storage systems
  9. Students will plan, execute and report on a group-based project and communicate professionally and effectively in written and oral form about the obtained outcomes
  10. Professional Skills Mapping Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment and Professional Competencies

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assignments: (16) [LO null]
  2. Active participation: (6) [LO null]
  3. Group research project: (13) [LO null]
  4. Mid-term exam: (25) [LO null]
  5. Final exam: (40) [LO null]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


2 x 2-hour lectures per week (4 hours total),  1 x 1-hour tutorial (or self-taught tutorial) per week, 5 hours independent/or group-based study per week.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed COMP2610 and COMP6261.

Prescribed Texts

Textbook: 'Elements of Information Theory', Thomas Cover and Joy Thomas, Second Edition, 2006.

Optional Classic Textbook Suggestion: 'Information Theory and Reliable Communication', Robert G. Gallager, New York, Wiley, 1968

Assumed Knowledge

1.  ENGN8538 - Probability and Stochastic Processes in Engineering is pre-requisite.

2.  Knowledge of ENGN6626- Digital Communications is not strictly needed, but would be advantageous


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5700
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8181 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person N/A

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