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*To*: [email protected]*Subject*: some technical steganography*From*: [email protected] (Eric Hughes)*Date*: Sun, 6 Mar 94 18:28:40 -0800*In-Reply-To*: Jim Miller's message of Sun, 6 Mar 94 18:12:27 -0600 <[email protected]>*Sender*: [email protected]

>How many different "notions of randomness" >are there? Notions of randomness fall into two basic categories, probabilistic and statistical. The dividing line between the two of them is whether you are doing inference forward or reverse. In both cases the randomness means evenly distributed. Probabilistic randomness is inference forward. One assumes a distribution of states before, the priors, and calculates the expected distribution of states after, the posteriors. Quantum mechanical randomness is probabilistic randomness, since quantum randomness is held to be inherent in nature, and from that predictions can be made about the future. The analysis of gambling strategies is probabilistic, since one assumes something random, like dice rolls or deck shuffles, and infers what the likely outcomes might be. Statistical randomness is inference backward. One takes an observed set of posteriors and tries to deduce whatever is available about the priors. Cryptographic randomness is of this nature, since one is presented with ciphertext and asked to figure out the plaintext. Two major questions about statistical randomness and decidability, "Can I see a pattern in it?", and compressibility, "Can I make a smaller representation of it?" Something is statistically random if one cannot answer questions about it more accurately than by guessing. There are various sorts of statistical randomness, depending on what analytical tools are available. If you allow any Turing machine, you get algorithmic complexity concepts like Kolmogorov-Chaitin randomness. There is randomness which is incompressibility to a particular coder. There is randomness with respect to statistical measures; one can take the difference of an observed posterior distribution and a probabilistically calculated posterior distribution and apply standard statistical tests. How far is this distribution from expected, and is the likelihood for this difference? >I prefer random bit >sequences. Or perhaps I should say - bit sequences with no apparent >structure. Your clarification makes a difference. Randomness as lack of structure can be quantified by looking for conditional probabilities. E.g. P( x_0 = 1 | x_3 = 0 ) is the conditional probability that x_0 is 1 in the case that x_3 = 0. If this probability is not 1/2 exactly, then you have a correlation. Conditional probabilities in general get hairy fast, even when the predicates, i.e. the events, are limited to particular bits equalling zero or one, and the standard propositional connectives "and", "or", & "not". There are questions of independence whose resolution requires a detour into predicate logic. E.g. P( x = 0 | x = 1 ) = 0, clearly, because the two events are logically dependent. One of the ways of measuring these probabilities in the aggregate is with entropy measures. The entropy of a probability distribution is the expected value of the negative logarithm. If you can determine an entropy which is not maximal, then you've found a correlation, even if exploiting the correlation might not be obvious. This maximality must be exact, and not approximate. For example, in the example I gave with 16 zero bits prepended to a random message, the bit entropy deviates ever so slightly from maximal, but that indicates a correlation. The problem is that that entropy is a probabilistic entropy, not a statistical one. Had we measured the same entropy value, it would not have allowed us to conclude anything, if all we had was the entropy. We could have also just looked at the first few bits. Anyway, since entropies are expected values on probabilities, one can also have conditional entropies as well. The criteria for non-recognizability is that all conditional entropies are maximal. This, again, is a probabilistic notion, since the calculation of all conditional entropies for a particular message is an exponential time algorithm. Eric

**References**:**Re: some technical steganography***From:*[email protected] (Jim Miller)

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