Sunday, 21 October 2007

Local Optimisation at the Expense of the Whole

This situation occurs where one component of a system is overengineered relative to the others to such an extent that each unit of improvement in that component leads to a proportionately lower improvement, or even a deterioration, in the performance of the system as a whole. For example, putting a Porche engine into a go-kart would probably not only not produce the desired performance, but might completely crush the go-kart preventing it from moving at all unless it was adequately reinforced.

Asking the Turkeys to vote for Christmas is a similar idea. For example, asking a division to do an analysis which should result in its closure with the loss of all jobs, is unlikely to produce the correct result. The more clever the analysts, the more likely they are to work this out and disguise the results. In this instance, only an external agent will produce a valid analysis.