In the seminal paper ĎA mathematical theory of communicationí published in 1948, Claude Shann on showed that, given a noisy communication channel, there is a number, called the capacity of the channel, such that reliable communication can be achieved at any rate below the channel capacity, if proper encoding and decoding techniques are used. This marked the birth of coding theory, a field of study concerned with the transmission of data across noisy channels and the recovery of corrupted messages.