Information Flows and Networks III

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Adding Four Random Links

Note: in order to run the simulation referred to in this slide, go here, to the Java Applet version. You will be directed to download the latest version of the Java plug-in.

How might a manager deal with the disaster outlined in the previous slide? Undoubtedly, the addition of several connections would help the situation immensely. But what would be the optimal way to distribute them, assuming we are constrained to add only a few? This slide offers a solution that completely ignores the existing network structure, and adds exactly 4 links in an entirely random manner. Note that pressing "Restart" will reset the network to the original 14-link hierarchy, and add a new random set of 4 connections.

A few runs of the presented model should convince you that random link positioning mostly isn't such a good idea. In the vast majority of cases, some unlucky node (usually close to the top) starts getting choked around step 400 of the simulation, sending the firm's output for a nose-dive. Perhaps there is a better way to deal out the four precious links, one that will prevent one of the nodes from becoming an informational bottleneck…

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