Re: genetic algorithms and learning org

From: John Conover <>
Subject: Re: genetic algorithms and learning org
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 94 17:59 PST writes:
 > i was wondering whether anyone is exploring the relation between genetic
 > algorithms and the evolution of organizations. there seem to be
 > important insights to be learned from a crosss-fertilization of these
 > two areas.  i have been studying complexity theory and GA for some time
 > now and welcome communication with anyone interested in this research.

Might want to look at the works done by Stephanie Forrest under Robert
Axelrod who used genetic algorithms to explore solutions to the
iterated prisoner's dilemma. They were working on problems in the
study of cooperative strategies in game-theoretic environments.

The original paper was:

Axelrod, Robert (1987). The evolution of strategies in the iterated
prisoner's dilemma. In L. Davis (ed.), "Genetic Algorithms and
Simulated Annealing." London: Pitman Publishing.

which was referenced in:

Lawrence Davis (ed.), (1991) "Handbook of Genetic Algorithms," New
York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, pp 170.

I think Forrest did the programming under Axelrod, and Forrest may be
at, or affiliated with, the Santa Fe Institute now, but I am not sure.

It was an important work since the prisoner's dilemma has been a bit
of an historical paradox from the organizational viewpoint
(particularly in view of Kenneth Arrow's work on the intransitives of
ranking priorities in group decision making where organizational
politics would break down into multiple prisoner dilemma scenarios
with everyone playing a defection strategy,) and provided some insight
into how macroscopic emergent phenomena can be counter to logical
scenarios at the microscopic level, which showed a paradigm issue with
Luce and Raiffa's concept of game-theoretic problems having to be
being broken down into "parlor games," to be understood, (eg., a kind
of reductionist philosophy.)

I posted a similar question to the one you just asked in the BPR
conference several months ago, but didn't get any responses. Would you
be so kind at to Re: me on any other responses you get?



BTW, it is interesting to note how management schemas, (MBO, BPR,
etc.) are really reductionist methodologies. Wonder how they work?
(Or if they do?) Wonder how learning organizations fit into this?
Seems like an important question in the formal basis of management


John Conover,,

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