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Optimal information transmission in organizations: Search and congestion
Arenas, Àlex; Cabrales, Antonio; Díaz-Guilera, Albert; Guimerà, Roger; Vega, Fernando
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We propose a stylized model of a problem-solving organization whoseinternal communication structure is given by a fixed network. Problemsarrive randomly anywhere in this network and must find their way to theirrespective specialized solvers by relying on local information alone.The organization handles multiple problems simultaneously. For this reason,the process may be subject to congestion. We provide a characterization ofthe threshold of collapse of the network and of the stock of foatingproblems (or average delay) that prevails below that threshold. We buildupon this characterization to address a design problem: the determinationof what kind of network architecture optimizes performance for any givenproblem arrival rate. We conclude that, for low arrival rates, the optimalnetwork is very polarized (i.e. star-like or centralized ), whereas it islargely homogenous (or decentralized ) for high arrival rates. We also showthat, if an auxiliary assumption holds, the transition between these twoopposite structures is sharp and they are the only ones to ever qualify asoptimal.
information transmission
organization design
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