Resistance to Change LO1163
Fri, 12 May 1995 00:05:39 -0400

In reply to LO1157:

Peter von Stackelberg wrote about genetic algorithms and lose of learning
resulting from not enough resistance to change.

To which Barry Mallis responded, asking about Information Mapping:

>One of the principles of the writing technique is based upon studies which
>show that seven, plus or minus two, is the number of items the brain can
>retain in a mesage.

Info. Mapping is a technique that is entirely different from the genetic
algorthms (GAs) that I was referring to.

Info. Mapping is built upon research into how information is chunked and
processed by short term memory in humans.

In GAs, the learning (adaptation) the system does through evolution
results from random mutations in the "genetic structure" of an agent
(entity) running in a computer simulation. If the mutation rate is too
fast, the system will "forget" the most effective strategies for survival
in its environment.

On the other hand, if mutation is too slow, the system will not be able to
adapt quickly enough to a changing environment.

There seems to be an optimal rate of mutation in GAs. This has started me
thinking about (and trying to model) how organizational strategies change
(mutate) over time and if there is an optimum balance between resistance
to change and new learning/behavior.

It would seem, at least at first glance, some resistance to change (in the
sense of retained learning) is necessary for a learning organization to
remain functional.

Peter von Stackelberg
Applied Futures, Inc.
25025 I-45 North Freeway, Suite 525
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Phone: (713) 364-1640
Fax: (713) 364-9225