Continuous Approximations in the Study of Hierarchies
Large organizations are typically modelled as hierarchies. Hierarchies are discrete structures (trees), but researchers frequently use continuous aproximations. The purpose of this article is to study the validity of these approximations. I show that modelling hierarchies with a continuum of tiers is not a good approximation. I also show, for a particular model of balanced hierarchies, that ignoring rounding operators and integer constraints in formulae derived from the discrete model can be a valid approximation, when hierarchies are suitably large. This is made precise by bounds on the relative errors of approximations.
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Volume (Year): 26 (1995)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
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