The Phillips Machine, the Analogue Computing Tradition in Economics and Computability
AbstractIn this paper I try to argue for the desirability of analog computation in economics from a variety of perspectives, using the example of the Phillips Machine. Ultimately, a case is made for the underpinning of both analog and digital computing theory in constructive mathematics. Some conceptual confusion in the meaning of analog computing and its non-reliance on the theory of numerical analysis is also discussed. Digital computing has its mathematical foundations in (classical) recursion theory and constructive mathematics. The implicit, working, assumption of those who practice the noble art of analog computing may well be that the mathematical foundations of their subject is as sound as the foundations of real analysis. That, in turn, implies a reliance on the soundness of set theory plus the axiom of choice. This is, surely, seriously disturbing from a computation point of view. Therefore, in this paper, I seek to locate a foundation for analog computing in exhibiting some tentative dualities with results that are analogous to those that are standard in computability theory. The main question, from the point of view of economics, is whether the Phillips Machine, as an analog computer, has universal computing properties. The conjectured answer is in the negative.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Società editrice il Mulino in its journal Economia politica.
Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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C02; C63; E27; E37;
Other versions of this item:
- K. Vela Velupillai, 2011. "The Phillips Machine, The Analogue Computing Traditoin in Economics and Computability," ASSRU Discussion Papers 1112, ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit.
- C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
- C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
- E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
- E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
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