[Lars Christian Smith (5 Feb 96 08:10 CET)]

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To: Rick Marken, Bill Powers

Subject: Learning by Doing

Learning by doing (originally described by Kenneth Arrow in his 1962

paper, 'The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing') describes how the

unit cost of production is a function of total cumulative output. As

individuals gain experience in undertaking some repetetive task, their

efficency in performing this task increases and the time taken to

complete the task decreases.

'The learning curve', is usually referred to in percentage terms, in

terms of the reduction in percentage cost per doubling in cumulative

output. A '90% curve' means that costs decrease by 10% with a

doubling in accumulated experience.

You can experiment with it yourself e.g. by building a Lego caste several

times and plotting the time it takes each time you construct it.

How would you think about this phenomenon in HPCT terms? Would you get any

additional insights by thinking about it in HPCT terms, e.g. in terms of

reorganization? How would you model it?

Lars