This unique volume presents a new approach - the general theory of information - to scientific understanding of information phenomena. Based on a thorough analysis of information processes in nature, technology, and society, as well as on the main directions in information theory, this theory synthesizes existing directions into a unified system. The book explains how this theory opens new kinds of possibilities for information technology, information sciences, computer science, knowledge engineering, psychology, linguistics, social sciences, and education.The book also gives a broad introduction to the main mathematically-based directions in information theory. The general theory of information provides a unified context for existing directions in information studies, making it possible to elaborate on a comprehensive definition of information; explain relations between information, data, and knowledge; and, demonstrate how different mathematical models of information and information processes are related. In this book, explanation of information essence and functioning is given, as well as answers to the following questions: how information is related to knowledge and data; how information is modeled by mathematical structures; and, how these models are used to better understand computers and the Internet, cognition and education, communication and computation.