Semantic Communications in Networked Systems: A Data Significance Perspective

We present our vision for a departure from the established way of architecting and assessing communication networks, by incorporating the semantics of information for communications and control in networked systems. We define semantics of information, not as the meaning of the messages, but as their significance, possibly within a real time constraint, relative to the purpose of the data exchange. We argue that research efforts must focus on laying the theoretical foundations of a redesign of the entire process of information generation, transmission and usage in unison by developing: advanced semantic metrics for communications and control systems; an optimal sampling theory combining signal sparsity and semantics, for real-time prediction, reconstruction and control under communication constraints and delays; semantic compressed sensing techniques for decision making and inference directly in the compressed domain; semantic-aware data generation, channel coding, feedback, multiple and random access schemes that reduce the volume of data and the energy consumption, increasing the number of supportable devices.

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