chapter  7
8 Pages

The Global Economy as an Adaptive Process

WithJohn H. Holland

The global economy is an example, par excellence, of an adaptive nonlinear network (ANN). Other ANNs are the central nervous system, ecologies, immune systems, the developmental stages of multi-celled organisms, and the processes of evolutionary genetics. In the global economy, the anticipation of an oil shortage or of a significant default of foreign loans can have profound effects upon the course of the economy, whether or not the anticipated events come to pass. A direct way to apply classifier systems to the study of the global economy is to find an established model from economics that, even in its simplest form, raises some of the central quandries of the global economy. In an economy, as in ANNs in general, accumulated experience provides increasingly refined standard operating procedures and progressively more sophisticated interactions between them. In mathematical terms, operation is far from any global attractor and strategies are faced with perpetual novelty.