Computational Intelligence Determines Effective Rationality

CCFEA Working Paper WP015-07

10 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2010  

Edward Tsang

University of Essex - Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents

Date Written: December 2007

Abstract

Rationality is a fundamental concept in economics. Most researchers will accept that human beings are not fully rational. Herbert Simon suggested that we are "bounded rational". However, it is very difficult to quantify "bounded rationality", and therefore it is difficult to pinpoint its impact to all those economic theories that depend on the assumption of full rationality. Ariel Rubinstein proposed to model bounded rationality by explicitly specifying the decision makers0 decision-making procedures. This paper takes a computational point of view to Rubinstein0s approach. From a computational point of view, decision procedures can be encoded in algorithms and heuristics. We argue that, everything else being equal, the effective rationality of an agent is determined by its computational power. We refer to this as the computational intelligence determines effective rationality (CIDER) theory. This is not an attempt to propose a unifying definition of bounded rationality. It is merely a proposal of a computational point of view of bounded rationality. This way of interpreting bounded rationality enables us to (computationally) reason about economic systems when the full rationality assumption is relaxed.

Keywords: Rationality, bounded rationality, computational intelligence, economics, computational intelligence determines effective rationality (CIDER) theory

JEL Classification: A1, G

Suggested Citation

Tsang, Edward, Computational Intelligence Determines Effective Rationality (December 2007). CCFEA Working Paper WP015-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1566845 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1566845

Edward P. K. Tsang (Contact Author)

University of Essex - Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

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