Simon, H. A.


Models of Bounded Rationality, Volume 1: Economic Analysis and Public Policy

Classics

These two facts together delineate the range and uniqueness of his contributions in creating meaningful interactions among fields that developed in isolation but that are all concerned with human decision-making and problem-solving processes.In particular, Simon has brought the insights of decision theory, organization theory (especially as it applies to the business firm), behavior modeling, cognitive psychology, and the study of artificial intelligence to bear on economic questions. This has led not only to new conceptual dimensions for theoretical constructions, but also to a new humanizing realism in economics, a way of taking into account and dealing with human behavior and interactions that lie at the root of all economic activity.The sixty papers and essays contained in these two volumes are grouped under eight sections, each with a brief introductory essay. These are: Some Questions of Public Policy, Dynamic Programming Under Uncertainty; Technological Change; The Structure of Economic Systems; The Business Firm as an Organization; The Economics of Information Processing; Economics and Psychology; and Substantive and Procedural Reality.Most of Simon's papers on classical and neoclassical economic theory are contained in volume one. The second volume collects his papers on behavioral theory, with some overlap between the two volumes.The second edition of Simon's widely read and referenced The Sciences of the Artificial was published by The MIT Press 1981 and is available in both hardcover and paperback.


Optimal problem-solving search: All-or-none solutions

Classics

"Optimal algorithms are derived for satisficing problem-solving search, that is, search where the goal is to reach any solution, no distinction being made among different solutions. This task is quite different from search for best solutions or shortest path solutions.Constraints may be placed on the order in which sites may be searched. This paper treats satisficing searches through partially ordered search spaces where there are multiple alternative goals."Artificial Intelligence 6:235-247




Human problem solving

Classics

The aim of the book is to advance the understanding of how humans think. It seeks to do so by putting forth a theory of human problem solving, along with a body of empirical evidence that permits assessment of the theory.Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall


The Sciences of the Artificial

Classics

Continuing his exploration of the organization of complexity and the science of design, this new edition of Herbert Simon's classic work on artificial intelligence adds a chapter that sorts out the current themes and tools -- chaos, adaptive systems, genetic algorithms -- for analyzing complexity and complex systems. There are updates throughout the book as well. These take into account important advances in cognitive psychology and the science of design while confirming and extending the book's basic thesis: that a physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means for intelligent action. The chapter "Economic Reality" has also been revised to reflect a change in emphasis in Simon's thinking about the respective roles of organizations and markets in economic systems.




Experiments with a heuristic compiler

Classics

"This report describes some experiments in constructing a compiler that makes use of heuristic problem~solving techniques such as those incorporated in the General Problem Solver (GPS) [1]. The experiments were aimed at the dual objectives of throwing light on some of the problems of constructing more powerful programming languages and compilers, and of testing whether the task of writing a computer program can be regarded as a "problem" in the sense in which that term is used in GPS. The present paper is concerned primarily with the second objective--with analyzing some of the problem-solving processes that are involved in writing computer programs. At the present stage of their development, no claims will be made for the heuristic programming procedures described here as practical approaches to the construction of compilers. Their interest lies in what they teach us about the nature of the programming task."See also: Artificial intelligence and self-organizing systems: Experiments with a Heuristic CompilerJACM, 10, 493-€“506


GPS, a program that simulates human thought

Classics

This article is concerned with the psychology of human thinking. It setsforth a theory to explain how some humans try to solve some simpleformal problems. The research from which the theory emerged is intimatelyrelated to the field of information processing and the construction of intelligentautomata, and the theory is expressed in the form of a computerprogram. The rapid technical advances in the art of programming digitalcomputers to do sophisticated tasks have made such a theory feasible.It is often argued that a careful line must be drawn between the attemptto accomplish with machines the same tasks that humans perform, andthe attempt to simulate the processes humans actually use to accomplishthese tasks. The program discussed in the report, GPS (General ProblemSolver), maximally confuses the two approaches—with-mutual"!benefit. Lerende Automaten, Munich: Oldenberg KG