Claude Shannon: Collected Papers
Keywords: Claude Elwood Shannon, collected papers, collected works,
mathematical theory of communication,
communication theory of secrecy systems, communication in presence of noise,
information theory, PCM, zero error capacity, coding with a fidelity criterion,
symbolic analysis of relay and switching circuits,
programming a computer for playing chess, artificial intelligence,
Throbac, reliable circuits using less reliable relays,
scientific aspects of juggling,
algebra for theoretical genetics,
This book contains
the collected papers of
Claude Elwood Shannon, one of the greatest scientists of the
He is the creator of modern information theory,
and an early and important contributor to the theory
of computing. His pioneering work on computer chess and on "mice"
that learn the path through a maze are amomg the earliest contributions
to the field of artificial intelligence.
This book contains all his published work and the majority
of his unpublished work (much of formerly classified as secret
but now unclassified), together with notes and comments on the papers,
two biographical articles (one can be seen
and a complete
[Claude Shannon died February 24, 2001. An obituary
can be found here.]
The book was edited by
Neil J. A. Sloane
and the late
Aaron D. Wyner
(both at AT&T Bell labs at the time)
and published by the IEEE Press in 1993.
The illustration to the right shows the original dust-jacket.
The book is now distributed by John Wiley and Sons.
The book should be ordered directly from them.
Click here to order
ISBN 0-7803-0434-9, IEEE Order No. PC-03319,
xliv+ 924 pp., 1993.
Published by IEEE Press, 445 Hoes Lane, PO Box 1331, Piscataway NJ 08855, USA.
Introduction to the book
The publication of Claude Shannon's collected papers is long overdue.
A substantial collection of his papers was published in Russian in 1963 (see item  of his Bibliography), but no English edition has ever appeared.
The editors were therefore commissioned by the Information Theory Society
of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers to collect and
publish his papers.
Since much of Shannon's work was never published, our first task was to
assemble a complete bibliography.
We did this by consulting Claude and Betty Shannon, who have been
extremely helpful throughout this project and supplied us with copies of
a number of unpublished items; many of Claude's friends and colleagues; the Bell Laboratories Archives; the National Archives in Washington;
the National Security Agency; the patent records; Mathematical Reviews; and other sources.
We believe the resulting
of about 127 items is reasonably complete.
The second step was to decide what to include.
Our policy has been to include everything of importance.
We have included all the published papers, and all the unpublished
material that seemed of lasting value.
Some war-time reports of very limited interest have been excluded, as well
as the M.I.T. seminar notes.
If an excluded paper has an abstract, we have printed it.
We have made several sets of copies of the excluded material, and plan to
deposit copies in the AT&T Bell Laboratories library at Murray Hill,
New Jersey, the M.I.T. library, and the Library of Congress and the British Library.
The papers fall naturally into three groups: (A) communication theory,
information theory and cryptography; (B) computers, circuits and games;
(C) the hitherto unpublished doctoral dissertation on population genetics.
Inside each group the papers are, with some exceptions,
arranged in chronological order.
Minor items (abstracts, book reviews, and so on) have been placed at the
end of each section.
Most of the published works have been photographically reproduced from the
originals, while the others have been typeset by computer at AT&T Bell Labs.
The ``Notes'' following each section give references to more recent work.
We should like to thank
R. B. Blackman, P. Elias, E. N. Gilbert, R. Gnanadesikan, R. L. Graham,
D. W. Hagelbarger, T. T. Kadota, H. O. Pollak, D. Slepian, E. Wolman and R. Wright
for supplying us with copies of Shannon's papers.
R. A. Matula, of the AT&T Bell Laboratories library staff, has been
extremely helpful to us throughout this project.
J. P. Buhler, J. H. Conway, J. F. Crow, R. L. Graham,
D. S. Johnson, T. Nagylaki and K. Thompson kindly provided comments on
some of the papers.
We are very grateful to Susan Marko (sometimes assisted by Sue Pope), who
expertly retyped many of Shannon's papers for us.
Table of contents of the book
Biography of Claude Elwood Shannon
Profile of Claude Shannon --- Interview by Anthony Liversidge
Bibliography of Claude Elwood Shannon
Part A: Communication Theory, Information Theory, Cryptography
[Bracketed numbers refer to the
Preface to Part A
A mathematical theory of communication
Communication theory of secrecy systems
Analogue of the Vernam system for continuous time series
The best detection of pulses
(with B. M. Oliver and J. R. Pierce) The philosophy of PCM
Communication in the presence of noise
Communication theory --- exposition of fundamentals
General treatment of the problem of coding
The lattice theory of information
Discussion of preceding three papers
Recent developments in communication theory
Prediction and entropy of printed English
Efficient coding of a binary source with one very infrequent symbol
The zero error capacity of a noisy channel
Certain results in coding theory for noisy channels
Some geometrical results in channel capacity
A note on a partial ordering for communication channels
Channels with side information at the transmitter
Probability of error for optimal codes in a Gaussian channel
Coding theorems for a discrete source with a fidelity criterion
Two-way communication channels
(with R. G. Gallager and E. R. Berlekamp) Lower bounds to error
probability for coding on discrete memoryless channels I
(with R. G. Gallager and E. R. Berlekamp) Lower bounds to error
for coding on discrete memoryless channels II
Letter to Vannevar Bush
(with B. M. Oliver) Circuits for a P.C.M. transmitter and receiver
Some topics in information theory
Concavity of transmission rate as a function of input probabilities
The rate of approach to ideal coding
Notes to Part A
Part B: Computers, Circuits, Games
Preface to Part B
A symbolic analysis of relay and switching circuits
Mathematical theory of the differential analyzer
The theory and design of linear differential equation machines
(With John Riordan) The number of two-terminal series-parallel networks
A theorem on coloring the lines of a network
The synthesis of two-terminal switching circuits
(with H. W. Bode) A simplified derivation of linear least square smoothing
and prediction theory
Programming a computer for playing chess
A chess-playing machine
Memory requirements in a telephone exchange
A symmetrical notation for numbers
A method of power or signal transmission to a moving vehicle
Presentation of a maze solving machine
A mind-reading (?) machine
The potentialities of computers
(with E. F. Moore) Machine aid for switching circuit design
Computers and automata
Realization of all 16 switching functions of two variables requires
(with D. W. Hagelbarger) A relay laboratory outfit for colleges
(edited jointly with John McCarthy) Automata Studies (Preface, etc.)
A universal Turing machine with two internal states
(with Karel de Leeuw, Edward F. Moore and N. Shapiro) Computability by
Some results on ideal rectifier circuits
The simultaneous synthesis of $s$ switching functions of $n$
(with D. W. Hagelbarger) Concavity of resistance functions
Game playing machines
(with Peter Elias and Amiel Feinstein) A note on the maximum
(with Edward F. Moore) Reliable circuits using less reliable relays I
(with Edward F. Moore) Reliable circuits using less reliable relays II
Von Neumann's contributions to automata theory
Computers and automation---Progress and promise in the twentieth century
Claude Shannon's no-drop juggling diorama
Scientific aspects of juggling
The use of the Lakatos-Hickman relay in a subscriber sender
A study of the deflection mechanism and some results on rate finders
Backlash in overdamped systems
Some experimental results on the deflection mechanism
(with C. L. Dolph) The transient behavior of a large number of four-terminal
unilateral linear networks connected in tandem
Review of Transformations on Lattices and Structures of Logic
by Stephen A. Kiss
Review of Cybernetics, or Control and Communication in the Animal
and the Machine by Norbert Wiener
Review of Description of a Relay Calculator, by the staff of the [Harvard]
(with E. F. Moore) The relay circuit analyzer
(with E. F. Moore) The relay circuit synthesizer
Notes to Part B
Part C: Genetics
Preface to Part C
An algebra for theoretical genetics
Notes to Part C
The frontispiece (reproduced below) shows Shannon at Bell Labs around 1950.
Claude Elwood Shannon: Collected Papers,
Edited by N. J. A. Sloane and A. D. Wyner, 1993
Deposited in The Library of Congress, The British Library,
and the libraries of M.I.T., Cornell, Univ. Mich. and AT&T Bell Laboratories.
This volume includes all of Claude Elwood Shannon's writings that we
did not include in the Collected Papers.
Title page of Supplementary Volume:
Oct. 15 2013: I have placed a copy of this book on the
- see archive.org/details/ShannonMiscellaneousWritings
Contents pages of Supplementary Volume:
Postscript added Dec 04, 2010
Nelson H. F. Beebe (Mathematics Dept., University of Utah, Salt Lake City) wrote
to me today saying:
This note is to alert you to recent additions to two bibliography
archives of BibTeX-format coverage of Claude Shannon's publications
(including some that your Web page missed), and of (almost) all
publications in the Bell System Technical Journal and its three
descendants, from the first issue in 1922 to the latest of this month