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Ian Gwonsang Shin

undergrad Aeronautical Sceince, Korea Aerospace Univ.

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Could algorithmic approaches control all of the variables in reality?

I've always been interested in mathmatical approaches for solving business problems (Operation Researches, Management Science). Meanwhile, I saw a TED talk named 'How algorithms shape our world'. I partially agree with Kelvin Slavin. Algorithms are useful and effective. But, I want to ask something about it. Are they perfect?

Algorithms are also 'man-made' methods for solving problems or implementing methodology, even predicting the future (proficiency, feasibility of business investment, etc). There are tons of variables in reality and algorithmic apporaches couldn't calculate all the variables I guess. And there are also variables that couln't even be digitized. And algorithmic approaches have flaws in themselves. They could crash each other.

I'm not speciallized in computer engineering, so I'd appreciate any info you might have. Thank you! :)


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    Oct 15 2012: algorithms are good if

    1, we have data, and
    2, the problem space is reasonably small, that is, we can calculate it within a satisfactory time frame

    with the former being the stronger limitation
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      Oct 15 2012: Oh, I see... Then, commercial market is reasonably small(for calculating) but, there are also uncountable variables too. Is that right?
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        Oct 15 2012: the market seriously lacks data. the most important question on the market is how will it react to a new product or a new price. we don't have reliable data about how the human mind reacts to stimuli. we don't even scratch the surface, despite the vast amount of effort and experiments. and we don't hope for a breakthrough in the field either.
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          Oct 15 2012: There are lots of different humans and different demands. How will these demands(humans) react to economic stimuli should be hard-to-predict. (maybe impossible..?)I've been really interested in demand forecating. Some day, I hope me to predict quantitative & qualitative reaction of the market. Well, this dream can be a vapor in the air.let me see this. Thanks for your kind reply. I understand the imperfection of the argorithms thanks to you.
        • Oct 15 2012: I agree with this. Also, until we become more globalized and open with our data, we are a long way off from creating or implementing a lot of interesting algorithms
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          Oct 15 2012: Come on guys, it was human error at not wanting to see actual unfolding of the real time data that lead to the crash in 07'

          The entire system was built on a few stating that this is a good possible bet so we recommend it with the highest result possible, a certain amount of greed is good but what we just went through made idiots out of the planet that delved into it while ignoring the few warning bells that came along.

          We tend to ignore history.
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          Oct 17 2012: @brown. I agree with you, but there are beneficial points of algorithm also.

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