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Continuous Approximations in the Study of Hierarchies

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  • VAN ZANDT, Timothy

    (CORE, Université catholique de Louvain, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

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    Abstract

    Large organizations are typically modeled as hierarchies. Hierarchies are discrete structures (trees), but researchers frequently use continuous approximations. The purpose of this note is to study the validity of these approximations. We show that modeling hierarchies with a continuum of tiers is not a good approximation. We also show that ignoring rounding operators and integer constraints in formulae derived from discrete models call be a valid approximation, when hierarchies are suitably large. This is made precise by tight bounds on the relative errors of the approximations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 1995002.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jan 1995
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    Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1995002

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    Cited by:
    1. Meagher, Kieron J., 2003. "Generalizing incentives and loss of control in an optimal hierarchy: the role of information technology," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 273-280, February.
    2. Van Zandt, Timothy, 2004. "Balancedness of Real-Time Hierarchical Resource Allocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4276, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Andrea Patacconi, 2005. "Optimal Coordination in Hierarchies," Economics Series Working Papers 238, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Jacek Cukrowski & Manfred M. Fischer, 2007. "Efficient organization of information processing," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 13-26.

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