Mutual Redundancies in Inter-human Communication Systems [preprint]

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Wed Jan 30 02:54:20 EST 2013

Mutual Redundancies in Inter-human Communication Systems:
Steps Towards a Calculus of Processing Meaning


Loet Leydesdorff and  Inga A. Ivanova 


Assuming that meaning cannot be communicated, we extend Shannon's
mathematical theory of communication by defining mutual redundancy as a
positional counterpart of the relational communication of information.
Mutual redundancy indicates the surplus of meanings that can be provided to
the exchange of information in reflexive communications. In the
three-dimensional case (e.g., a Triple Helix of
university-industry-government relations), mutual redundancy is equal to
mutual information [R(xyz) = T(xyz)]; but when the dimensionality is even,
the sign is different. We generalize to the measurement in N dimensions.
Using Luhmann's social-systems theory and/or Giddens' structuration theory,
mutual redundancy can be provided with an interpretation in the sociological
case: different meaning-processing structures code and decode with other
algorithms. A surplus of ("absent") options can then be generated that add
to the redundancy. Luhmann's "functional (sub)systems" of expectations or
Giddens' "rule-resource sets" are positioned mutually, but can be coupled
operationally in events or "instantiated" in actions. Shannon-type
information is generated by the mediation. The "structures" are
re-positioned towards one another as sets of (potentially counterfactual)


Preprint avaliable at 


[1] Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of
Amsterdam, Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
loet at; 

[2] Department of International Education & Department of Economics and
production management, Far Eastern Federal University, Office 514, 56
Aleutskaya st., Vladivostok 690950, Russia; inga.iva at


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