The Computational Modeling of Strategic Time
This chapter suggests how computational ideas can shed new light on a neglected area of political statecraft: temporal reasoning in strategic contexts. It shows that a computational approach offers ideas for representing and using time that surpass traditional, noncomputational attitudes. An implication of the computational-strategic view of modeling time is worth elaboration. Computational processes are driven by the structural or syntactic properties of the representations being processed. Computations are insensitive to the content of semantic properties of representations such as truth, reference, and meaning; these semantic considerations exist on the representational level. Computational modeling offers theorists another investigative possibility heretofore largely inaccessible to other modeling techniques. Computational methods may prove useful for tracing some of these ontoiogical dependencies and studying how ontoiogical commitments are extended to encompass new situations. Computationally, horizons are focus-of-attention, pattern-recognition, and complexity-regulating devices. An important obstacle is computational tractability; strategic reasoning usually leads to a combinatorial explosion of possibilities that can quickly exhaust computational resources.