Manufacturing and Human Labor as Information Processes

Ayres RU (1987). Manufacturing and Human Labor as Information Processes. IIASA Research Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-87-019

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Abstract

Two related papers are presented here as a package. Both papers can be regarded as part of an attempt to develop new and more productive approaches to quantitative measurement in the social and economic sciences. This is an oft-neglected but important aspect of IIASA's on-going Technology-Economy- Society (TES) Program.

The first paper deals with applications of information theory to economics, especially the analysis of manufacturing. Its explicit objective is to exhibit a practical methodology for computing information "stocks" and "flows", with particular application to information embodied in form and structure. It also discusses possible optimization principles both for production processes and product design, making use of the information- theoretic approach.

The second paper deals with a parallel topic, the application of information theory in the analysis of human labor. Here the objective is to reexamine F.W. Taylor's approach to task optimization from the modern ergonomic perspective, again using the language of information theory. The error-defect problem in manufacturing is addressed, and an interesting labor rate optimization model is developed, showing Taylor's approach to be an unrealistic special case.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report)
Research Programs: Technology, Economy, Society (TES)
Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:57
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2016 11:20
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/2904

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