Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Optimizing for multiple objectives

A few weeks ago Wayne Thogmartin and I were having a discussion about tradeoffs, and I commented that I thought everyone knew it was impossible to simultaneously maximize more than one objective.

Apparently not. However, here is a cool little online game that Wayne put me onto - you get to decide how to allocate California's water supply between Agriculture, Environment, and Urban uses, and then it tells you whether you matched the current allocation or not. Maybe if people play enough games like this they'll start to figure out the tradeoff thing. Although it's interesting that they use the existing allocation as the only one that works ... actually let me rephrase that - I just tried again and NONE of the allocations works - they all tell you you've failed! Hey, it is actually representing reality ...

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