Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Landscapes: A Natural Extension of Search Theory

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jose Lobo
  • William G. Macready
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Technological change at the firm-level has commonly been modeled as random sampling from a fixed distribution of possibilities. Such models typically ignore empirically important aspects of the firm's search process, namely the related observations that a firm's current technology constrains future innovation and that firms' technological search tends to be local in nature. In this paper we explicitly treat these aspects of the firm's search for technological improvements by introducing a technology landscape into the search-theoretic framework. Technological search is modeled as movement over a technology landscape with the firm's adaptive walk constrained by the firm's location on the landscape, the correlation structure of the landscape and the cost of innovation. We show that the standard search model is attained as a limiting case of a more general landscape search model. We obtain two key results, otherwise unavailable in the standard search model: the presence of local optima in space of technological possibilities and the determination of the optimal search distance. We find that early in the search for technological improvements, if the initial position is poor or average, it is optimal to search far away on the technology landscape; but as the firm succeeds in finding technological improvements it is optimal to confine search to a local region of the landscape. Notably, we obtain diminishing returns to search without having to make the assumption that the firm's repeated draws from the search space are independent and identically distributed. The distinction between dramatic technological improvements ("innovations") and minor technological improvements hinges on the distance at which a firm decides to sample the technology landscape. Submitted to J. Pol. Econ.

    Download Info

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Working Papers with number 99-05-037.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: May 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:99-05-037

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
    Web page: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/working-papers.html
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Technological search; technology landscape; landscape search model; optimal search;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Karén Hovhannisian, 2004. "Imperfect Local Search Strategies on Technology Landscapes: Satisficing, Deliberate Experimentation and Memory Dependence," Computational Economics 0405009, EconWPA.
    2. Sylvie Geisendorf, 2010. "Searching NK Fitness Landscapes: On the Trade Off Between Speed and Quality in Complex Problem Solving," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 35(4), pages 395-406, April.
    3. Kauffman, Stuart & Lobo, Jose & Macready, William G., 2000. "Optimal search on a technology landscape," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 141-166, October.
    4. Karén Hovhannisian & Marco Valente, 2005. "Modeling Directed Local Search Strategies on Technology," Computational Economics 0507001, EconWPA.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:99-05-037. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.