A Categorical Model of General Empirical Computation: Towards a Theory of Such Computation, with Policy and Organizational Learning Implications
Journal of Policy Studies, No. 6, 1998
41 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2013
Date Written: September 1, 1998
The paper presents a categorical model showing how three forms of computational system -- machine computers, (human) social computers, and biological computers--are interacting to generate new forms of computation. The result is the beginnings of a theory of empirical computational systems -- not a theory of abstract computational systems like well known theories by Turing, Church, and others. The most general and abstract model of computation that we have -- the Turing machine -- includes (subsumes) but omits mention of: one, the hierarchy of codes, the recursive nature of "operations" within codes at any one level, that are the heart of processing of information. The input, output, and memory of computation are less interesting when using computation to understand society and nature; than the "processing". This paper uses a hierarchy of codes model of processing to elucidate how machine, social, and biological computers interact to find or create 18 types of computational system. The categorical model presented here can be used to predict new forms of computation to be achieved by machine computers, new types of computation to be recognized in biologic and social systems, and to understand the dynamics of computational system evolution. In particular, application to policy dilemmas and organizational learning is introduced here.
Keywords: empirical computation, categorical models, social computers, computational sociality, biologic computers, nature computers, machine computers, hierarchy of codes, recursive code operations
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