The Phillips Machine, the Analogue Computing Tradition in Economics and Computability
In 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.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stefano Zambelli, 2011.
"Flexible Accelerator Economic Systems As Coupled Oscillators,"
Journal of Economic Surveys,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 608-633, 07.
- Stefano Zambelli, 2010. "Flexible Accelerator Economic Systems as Coupled Oscillators," ASSRU Discussion Papers 1004, ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit.
- Robert W. Dimand & John Geanakoplos, 2005. "Celebrating Irving Fisher," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(1), pages 3-18, 01.
- William C. Brainard & Herbert E. Scarf, 2000. "How to Compute Equilibrium Prices in 1891," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1272, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mul:jb33yl:doi:10.1428/35926:y:2011:i:1:p:39-62. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.