Conservation of Information: A New Approach to Organizing Human-Machine-Robotic Agents under Uncertainty

  • William F. Lawless
  • Donald A. Sofge
  • H. T. Goranson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5494)


For many years, social scientists have struggled to make sense of the shift between individual and group perception, the difference between observation and action, and the meaning of interdependence. Interactions between these factors produce stable worldviews that contain more illusory than actual connections to reality. We attribute these struggles to scientists embedded in the social fabric, the lack of a measurement theory, and the difficulty of testing new theory with human subjects, groups and organizations. Our work includes field research with observations of citizen organizations advising the Department of Energy (DOE) on its environmental cleanup; laboratory simulations of DOE field results; stock market data; and computational modeling (coupled differential equations, control theory, AI, Gaussian distributions, uncertainty models, Fourier transform pairs, continuous and discrete wavelets). Results from laboratory experiments and stock markets agree with our theory, but many questions remain, forming a high-risk research plan. Our objective is to incorporate interdependent uncertainty into computational intelligence to better instantiate autonomy or decentralized control for mixed human-machine systems.


interdependence uncertainty observation-action conjugation quantum model autonomous systems social interaction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adelson, E.H.: Lightness perceptions and lightness illusions. In: Gazzaniga, M. (ed.) The new cognitive sciences, 2nd edn. MIT Press, Cambridge (2000)Google Scholar
  2. Ambrose, S.H.: Paleolithic technology and human evolution. Science 291, 1748–1753 (2001)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andrade, G.M.-M., Mitchell, M.L., Stafford, E.: New Evidence and Perspectives on Mergers. Harv. Bus. Sch. Working Paper No. 01-070 (2001),
  4. Arnold, K.A.: PMESII and the non-state actor. Questioning the relevance. US Army Monograph, Fort Leavenworth, KA. School of Advanced Military Studies (2006)Google Scholar
  5. Bankes, S.C.: Perspective. Agent-based modeling. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences 99(3), 7199–7200 (2002)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baumeister, R.F., Campbell, J.D., Krueger, J.I., Vohs, K.D.: Exploding the self-esteem myth. Scientific American (January 2005)Google Scholar
  7. Bloom, N., Dorgan, S., Dowdy, J., Van Reenen, J.: Management practice and productivity. Quarterly Journal of Economics 122(4), 1351–1408 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bloomberg (2008) (retrieved September 14, 2008),
  9. Bohr, N.: Science and the unity of knowledge. In: The unity of knowledge, pp. 44–62. L. Leary, New York (1955)Google Scholar
  10. Busemeyer, J.R., Santuy, E., Mogiliansky, A.L.: Distinguishing quantum and Markov models of human decision making. In: Bruza, P., Lawless, W.F., van Rijsbergen, K., Sofge, D., Coecke, B., Clark, S. (eds.) Quantum Interaction, Proceedings of the Second Quantum Interaction Symposium (QI 2008), King’s College, London (2008)Google Scholar
  11. Cacioppo, J.T., Berntson, G.G., Crites Jr., S.L. (eds.): Social neuroscience: Principles, psychophysiology, arousal and response. In: Social Psychology Handbook of Basic Principles. Guilford, New York (1996)Google Scholar
  12. Carley, K.M.: Simulating society: The tension between transparency and veridicality. In: Social Agents: ecology, exchange, and evolution, University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory (2002)Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, L.: Time-frequency analysis: theory and applications. Prentice Hall Signal Processing Series (1995)Google Scholar
  14. Conzelmann, G., Boyd, Cirillo, R., Koritarov, V., Macal, C.M., North, M.J., Thimmapuram, P.R., Veselka, T.: Analyzing the Potential for Market Power Using ABM Approach. In: Conference on Computing, Communication and Control Technologies, Austin, TX (2004)Google Scholar
  15. Cooper, G.R.J., Cowan, D.R.: Comparing time series using wavelet-based sem-blance analysis. Computers and Geosciences 34, 95–102 (2008)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Csete, M.E., Doyle, J.C.: Science 295, 1664–1669 (2002)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dawes, R.M., Faust, D., Meehl, P.E.: Clinical versus actuarial judgement. Science 243(4899), 1668–1674 (1989)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fama, E.F.: Random walks in stock market prices. Financial Analysts Journal 51(1), 75–80 (1965) (reprinted, January-February 1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Friston, K., Stephan, K.E.: Free energy and the brain. Synthese 159, 417–458 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Frieden, B.R.: Science from Fisher information. Cambridge U. Press, New York (2004)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  21. Goranson, H.T., Cardier, B.: Scheherazade’s Will: Quantum Narrative Agency. In: Proceedings, AAAI Spring Series Workshop on Quantum Interaction, Stanford (2007)Google Scholar
  22. Gordon, M.R.: Troop ‘Surge’. The New York Times, p. A1,10 (August 31, 2008) Google Scholar
  23. Hagoort, P., Hald, L., Bastiaansen, M., Petersson, K.M.: Integration of word meaning and world knowledge in language comprehension. Science 304, 438–441 (2004)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Helbing, D.: Traffic. Reviews of Modern Physics 73, 1067–1141 (2001)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Holmes, O.W.: U.S. Supreme Court, Abrams et al. v. United States, No. 316. The dissent was written by Justice Holmes and concurred by Justice Brandeis (1919)Google Scholar
  26. Horodecki, M., Oppenheim, J., Winter, A.: Quantum information can be negative (May 9, 2005) (Retrieved on January 10, 2008), arXiv:quant-ph/0505062v1 Google Scholar
  27. Hubbard, B.B.: The world according to wavelets, 2nd edn. A. K. Peters, Natick (1998)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  28. Jervis, R.: Systems effects: Complexity in political and social life. PUP, Princeton (1997)Google Scholar
  29. Kelley, H.H.: Lewin, situations, and interdependence. J. Social Issues 47, 211–233 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kenny, D.A., Kashy, D.A., Bolger, N.: Data analysis in social psychology. In: Gilbert, D.T., Fiske, S.T., Lindzey, G. (eds.) The handbook of Social Psychology, pp. I: 233–268. McGraw-Hill, Boston (1998)Google Scholar
  31. Kirk, R.: More terrible than death. Massacres, drugs, and America’s war in Columbia. Public Affairs (2003)Google Scholar
  32. Kohli, R., Hoadley, E.: Towards developing a framework for measuring organizational impact of IT–tneabled BPR: case studies of theree firms. ACM SIGMIS Database 37(1), 40–58 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lawless, W.F., Castelao, T., Ballas, J.A.: Virtual knowledge: Bistable reality and solution of ill-defined problems. IEEE Systems, Man, & Cybernetics 30(1), 119–124 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lawless, W.F.: Adversarial cooperative collaboration: An overview of social quantum logic. In: Proceedings Collaborative Learning Agents. AAAI 2002 Spring Symposium, Stanford University, pp. 122–123 (2002),
  35. Lawless, W.F.: Draft Final Report: The requirements for social and cultural metrics for DIME actions on PMESII effects. A report prepared for the Naval Research Laboratory, funded by a Summer Fellowship award from ASEE, Washington, DC (2008)Google Scholar
  36. Lawless, W.F., Bergman, M., Feltovich, N.: Consensus-seeking versus truth-seeking. ASCE Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management 9(1), 59–70 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lawless, W.F., Bergman, M., Louçã, J., Kriegel, N.N., Feltovich, N.: A quantum metric of organizational performance: Terrorism and counterterrorism. Computational & Mathematical Organizational Theory 13, 241–281 (2007)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  38. Lawless, W.F., Whitton, J., Poppeliers, C.: Case studies from the UK and US of stakeholder decision-making on radioactive waste management. ASCE Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management 12(2), 70–78 (2008a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lawless, W.F., Poppeliers, C., Grayson, J., Feltovich, N.: Toward a classical (quantum) uncertainty principle of organizations. In: Bruza, P., Lawless, W.F., von Rijsbergen, K., Sofge, D., Coecke, B., Clark, S. (eds.) Quantum Interaction, Proceedings of the Second Quantum Interaction Symposium (QI 2008), King’s College, Strand (2008b)Google Scholar
  40. Lawless, W.F., Sofge, D.: Conservation of information (COI). A concept paper on virtual organizations and communities. In: NSF Computational Workshop: Building CIML Virtual Organizations, Fairfax, VA, October 24 (2008c)Google Scholar
  41. Lawless, W.F., Howard, C.R., Kriegel, N.N.: A quantum real-time metric for NVO’s. In: Putnik, G.D., Cunha, M.M. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Networked and Virtual Organizations. Information Science Reference, IGI Global, Hershey (2008d)Google Scholar
  42. Levine, J.M., Moreland, R.L.: Small groups. In: Gilbert, D.T., Fiske, S.T., Lindzey, G. (eds.) Handbook of Social Psychology, pp. II: 415-469. McGraw-Hill, Boston (1998)Google Scholar
  43. Lewin, K.: Field theory in social science. Harper (1951)Google Scholar
  44. Lowenstein, R.: Essay: Long-Term Capital, p. BU1, 9. New York Times (September 7, 2008)Google Scholar
  45. Markowitz, H.M.: Portfolio Selection. Journal of Finance 7(1), 77–91 (1952)Google Scholar
  46. Mattick, J.S., Gagen, M.J.: Accelerating networks. Science 307, 856–858 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. May, R.M.: Stability and complexity in model ecosystems. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1973/2001)Google Scholar
  48. Milton, J., Solodkin, A., Hluštík, P., Small, S.L.: The mind of expert motor performance is cool and focused. J. Neuroimage (2007) (retrieved August 25, 2008),
  49. Oppenheimer, M., O’Neill, B.C., Webster, M., Agrawala, S.: Climate change: The limits of consensus. Science 317, 1505–1506 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pfeifer, R., Lungarella, M., Lida, F.: Review: Self-organization, embodiment, and biologically inspired robots. Science 318, 1088–1093 (2007)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ranson, D.: The Fed’s Predicament. Op-Ed, Wall Street J, p. A-11 (December 24, 2007) Google Scholar
  52. Rees, G., Frackowiak, R., Frith, C.: Two modulatory effects of attention that mediate object categorization in human cortex. Science 275, 835–838 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rieffel, E.G.: Certainty and uncertainty in quantum information processing. In: Quantum Interaction: AAAI Spring Symposium, Stanford U. AAAI Press, Menlo Park (2007)Google Scholar
  54. Roethlisberger, F.J., Dickson, W.J.: Mgt. and the worker. HUP, Cambridge (1939)Google Scholar
  55. Rouse, W.B., Boff, K.R.: Cost-benefit analysis for human systems integration. In: Handbook of Human Systems Integration, ch. 17, pp. 631–657. Wiley, Chichester (2003)Google Scholar
  56. Sanfey, A.G.: Social decision-making: Insights from game theory and neuroscience. Science 318, 598–602 (2007)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Slackman, M.: The New York Times, p. 10 (September 7, 2008)Google Scholar
  58. Smith, W.K., Tushman, M.L.: Organizational Science 16(5), 522–536 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sommer, R.A.: Architecting cross-functional business processes: new views on traditional business process reengineering. Int’l. J. Mgt. Enterprise Dev. 1(4), 345–358 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sood, A., Tellis, G.J.: Do innovations really pay off? (forthcoming, 2008); Forthcoming in Marketing Science (Retrieved September 15, 2008), SSRN:
  61. Tajfel, H.: Experiments in intergroup discrimination. Sci. Am. 223(2), 96–102 (1970)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Trueman, T.: Former Fed Off. Lehman Bro., The Wall Street Journal, p. A1,14 (September 12, 2008)Google Scholar
  63. Von Neumann, J., Morgenstern, O.: Theory of games and economic behavior. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1953)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  64. Wickens, C.D.: Engineering psychology and human performance, 2nd edn. Merrill Publishing, Colombus (1992)Google Scholar
  65. Willis, R.P.: The counterinsurgency pattern assessment (CIPA) Program 2007. NRL (2007)Google Scholar
  66. Wood, J., Tung, H.-L., Marshall-Bradley, T., Sofge, D.A., Grayson, J., Lawless, W.F.: Applying an Org. Uncertainty Principle: Semantic Web-Based Metrics. In: Manuela Cunha, M., Oliveira, E., Tavares, A., Ferreira, L. (eds.) Handbook of Research on Soc. Dimensions of Semantic Techn. and Web Services. IGI, Hershey (forthcoming, 2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • William F. Lawless
    • 1
  • Donald A. Sofge
    • 2
  • H. T. Goranson
    • 3
  1. 1.Paine CollegeAugustaUSA
  2. 2.Naval Research LaboratoryWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Earl ResearchPortsmouthUSA

Personalised recommendations