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The Relevance of Computation Irreducibility as Computation Universality in Economics

  • K. Vela Velupillai
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    Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science should have made a greater impact in economics - at least in its theorising and computational modes – than it seems to have. There are those who subscribe to varieties of agent-based modelling, who do refer to Wolfram’s paradigms - a word I use with the utmost trepidation -- whenever simulational exercises within a framework of cellular automata is invoked to make claims on complexity, emergence, holism, reduction and many such buzz words. Very few of these exercises, and their practitioners, seem to be aware of the deep mathematical -- and even metamathematical-- underpinnings of Wolfram’s innovative concepts, particularly of computational equivalence and computational irreducibility in the works of Turing and Ulam. Some threads of these foundational underpinnings are woven together to form a possible tapestry for economic theorising and modelling in computable modes.

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    Paper provided by ASSRU - Algorithmic Social Science Research Unit in its series ASSRU Discussion Papers with number 1212.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpas:1212
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    1. K. Vela Velupillai, 2005. "The unreasonable ineffectiveness of mathematics in economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 849-872, November.
    2. K. Vela Velupillai, 2005. "The impossibility of an effective theory of policy in a complex economy," Department of Economics Working Papers 0514, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    3. Kumaraswamy Velupillai, . "The Computable Approach to Economics," Working Papers _005, University of California at Los Angeles, Center for Computable Economics.
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