Search and Decision Making
From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki
SFI ACtioN Topical Meeting
Co-hosted by GV
April 25, 2019
Held at GV, 1489 Charleston Rd, Mountain View, CA 94043
Historically, most decisions were informed by exhaustive search of a limited opportunity or information space. However, we now have access to quantities of data too vast to be searched with an exhaustive approach. This meeting will explore the history of search in the human and animal domains, with an eye towards understanding how our search strategies evolved and how they might change in the future. Key discussion questions include:
• Are search strategies solely determined by the information or opportunity landscape, or does the domain intrinsically impact how we search. (e.g. are their inherent differences in our approach to the searchers for knowledge, resources, and happiness.)?
• As technology changes humans’ ability to collaborate and share information, how are our search strategies evolving, and what can be learned from theoretical models of collective search behavior?
• One aspect of the anthropocene era seems to be urban communities of increasingly vast scale. How does the density and scale of human populations impact our species’ capacity for search?
• How do we search when the object of search is known vs unknown? For example, do we search differentially when exploring the frontiers of outer space then we do looking for a job or creative inspiration?
• Do human or animal search strategies change in abrupt or qualitative ways as search spaces become larger or more complex? What aspects of information or opportunity landscapes shape search strategies?
• Despite the “No Free Lunch Theorom,” what can we learn from algorithms for search that might improve human search in day-to-day life? Are there any insights from day-to-day life (or studies of organisms) that might shed inform the development of future algorithms?