The grass

In this course we want to understand the relationships between the Communication science (considered as a single entity) and the Computer Science. If we consider the sets consisting of all the knowledge belonging to each of these sciences, their relationship can be represented graphically by the following diagram:

computerscience_and_communication.png

One goal of this course is therefore to understand what represents the area in

yellow (encoded as FFFF00 in RGB) = red (encoded as FF0000 in RGB) + green (encoded as 00FF00 in RGB)

which I call "automatic communication" or even "Communication via algorithms", or even more "algorithmic communication". We must say that the Computer science is the science that deals with anything that can be done automatically, and that the communication is the science that deals with how to create and/or transmit messages (= sequences of letters in a given alphabet, for example, the binary alphabet given by the symbols 0 and 1) which are effective to achieve a particular purpose.

It is therefore clear that the automatic communication is the body of knowledge (= science) that deals with the analysis of the automatic creation, transmission and/or manipulation of effective messages. The technology (with which I simply mean "way of doing") derived by this new automatic communication science may be called Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

Whenever in a communication (i. e., in the creation and exchange of messages) between two systems there is a machine as an intermediary it is a communication via algorithms. In particular, in this way of communicating, a system A (man or machine) communicates with a system B (man or machine) by means of a program running on a computer available to A and/or B. The whole is depicted as follows.

diacommalg.png

Nowadays we are imbued with this way of communicating every time we deal with any electronic device; from the simplest controller of a washing machine to the most complex among all the computers. Every time one presses a botton of these devices one puts in execution a program which automatically generates a binary sequence (that is, a message) which tells us something.

For example, note that the site of this course defines a typical example of communication via algorithms (aimed to teaching) between A = Teacher and B =  Student where the intermediary is exactly the software platform that realize the site. This platform (implementation of the Content Management System "Joomla") is nothing but a program (or set of programs) written in the PHP programming language that upon a student's request it is sent running (or are sent running some of its parts) on the machine (server) whose Internet address is "http://icto1819.altervista.org".

To better understand what we are talking about we need to well understand what is the Computer science and the Communication science.