“Optimizing Models of Social Systems”

James R. Burns, David W. Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


It is argued that deterministic models of social values are just as valid as deterministic models of social processes. The appropriateness of using deterministic optimization techniques in conjunction with deterministic models of social values and processes is defended on the basis of its expediency as an analytic tool which contributes to an understanding of 1) the model and 2) strategies for controlling that model. The entire process of building models of social processes and using them to test the implications of operational approximations of various value systems is perceived as a supplement to, not a replacement for, more conventional intuitive or hueristic approaches for dealing with social systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-208
Number of pages2
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1976

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