Sunday, January 29, 2012

Delphi Methods (i)

Revised 8/29/16


1. Reminder: HW1 due by midnight

      Confusions?
      Questions?

2. Today's Plan

The "Delphi Method"


Soon each person will 
use the Delphi method

- to extract group wisdom
- from the class
- on a question
  about the future

     Write down your
     question now:
    "When will _____ happen?"







. . . We will need
   a recorder
   for each question,
   to record results
. . . . . .Your nearest neighbor!

The person
whose question it is
could consider
using the results
in their term project



3. The Delphi Method
    - Background

It is a town in Greece
(named Δελφοί)

. . . do you know those Greek letters?


Delphi was the site of
the "Delphic Oracle"

. . . (the Oracle of Apollo,
      which was in Delphi)

. . . . . Apollo was a Greek god,
         a U.S. space program, &
         series of space ships




(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo_program_insignia.png)

Oracle:
source of
wisdom or prediction


. . . same root as
      oral
      oration
      etc.


. . . a crystal ball is
      an example of
      an oracle








Delphi Method: Invented at RAND Corp.

- One of the earliest publications on the Delphi Method:
   http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/RM727z1

- An early use of the Delphi method

      Made forecasts up to about 50 years into the future

      The 50 years is up!

      Anyone want to review the forecasts for a term project?


The Delphi method has been extended:

- Getting consensus among a group
-- not just about predictions

- Has become politically contentious among a small faction
      I tracked this down to find out why


Example Use of the Delphi Method

- Science and Technology Foresight Center
               formerly the
- Institute for Future Technology
                  part of
-National Institute of Science
  and Technology Policy
                 part of
-Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
      but formerly (?) part of (?)
-Science and Technology Agency
                    in
-Japan



Way back in 1995:


-Their team toured the U.S.

-Met with me

-Part of their consultation process

-Produced "Future Technology in Japan: Toward the Year 2025"

-Sent me a copy of
"Future Technology in Japan: Toward the Year 2020"

The series of predictions every 5 years

... ended with the 2035 edition

... we could try searching for it to see

... 2035 seems unavailable

... earlier editions may still be available




Summary: The Delphi method

- extracts
  "wise predictions"
  from groups

Well. . .
we are a group!



4. The Delphi Method
    - How it works


(Note:
variations exist)


1. Formulate
    the question

. . . Should be
     "sharp and
      answerable"
- Futures Research Methodology V3.0,
Ed. by J.C. Glenn and T. J. Gordon


2. Present
    results
    to participants


. . . Discuss, especially
      the most
      extreme opinions


. . . Important!
      Avoid conformism
      just to conform

. . . . . . "Campaigning"
            distorts the
            group wisdom


3. Participants
    - reconsider their answers
      in light of the discussion

4. Overall results include:

. . . median (why not mean?)

. . . depiction of the spread
     (e.g. middle 50%
             total range)


(Source: JC Glenn and TJ Gordon, eds. Futures Research Methodology V3.0, chap. 4, p. 10)


5. There is
no better time
to try it than now!


-I will help you thru it


-who needs a minute to
write down their question?


- nearest neighbor 
records results

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More heuristics for foreseeing change

"Shift Happens"
  - youtube video
we'll watch later...
but first...



Heuristics

What is a heuristic?


Last time: curves

   We saw
     linear,
     exponential,
     S, and
     plateau curves

     Recall:
     each approximates
     a small piece
     of the one after


Are those curves...
    laws?
    heuristics?
   
Today -

   A grab bag of
      heuristics
  for predicting

  (What was a heuristic again?)


Next time -
  Delphi methods

To prepare:
  think of one question
  about the future of
  something of your choice

     In class, we will use
     Delphi methods to
     apply our
     collective wisdom
     to your question


(Also, HW 2 is due in two classes 
- questions about it?)




Let's check two versions of 
the youtube video 
"Did you know?"
(ref: http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/)


2006: "Did You Know":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9Wu2kWwSY


2009: "Did You Know 4.0": 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8


How would you compare them?


Should they do another one for 2012?


But first, let's make a grid on the board for:

Statements in the video (rows)

Believability (column)

Implications (column)

Hidden messages (column)

Connection to methods of prediction (column)




Now the videos, 
then we will
analyze more...



Let's apply some of the following methods to something in the video!
(Some of these are from Peter Bishop's Futuring: An Introduction to the Study of the Future)


   Extrapolation

   Theoretical limits

   Paradigm shifts

   Adam Smith's "invisible hand"

   Cause and effect

   Foresight instead of forecasting

   Vision

   Expectations make it so?

   Risks & possibilities

   Can the future be controlled?

   Simulation/gaming

   Scenarios

   Oracles

   Psychohistory?

   Leading indicators

   Science fiction

   Road mapping

   Metrics


Monday, January 23, 2012

Trajectories of the Future (& Overpopulation on Mars)

An Example of Extrapolation:
Overpopulation on Mars

Suppose we started a
self-sustaining colony
on the moon
(see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgOg0mzqGAM)
or Mars
(see http://mars-one.com)

100 colonists

What is your estimated
rate of increase per year?

What is the total population
capacity of Mars?

     Earth surface area = 510,072,000 km^2
     Earth land area     = 148,940,000 km^2
     Mars surface area = 144,798,500 km^2

                                     (0.284 of Earth)

How long do you think it will take
for Mars to overpopulate?

We can check this using a spreadsheet!

Just have the rows represent successive years
Each year has x% more people than the previous
See how many years go by until overpopulation!

Making and Discuss Predictions with Trajectories

       Method: Trajectories of change

. . . in the short term, change appears linear













Example 1:

  • Last year you used 1-2 e-books and the rest paper


  • This year you will "probably have 1-2 more" 


Example 2:

  • This year maybe (???!) 1 or 2 of you have cordless chargers


  • Next year 1 or 2 more will?

Example 3:

  • Can you think of any other examples?










Example 4:

  • Last year you had 1 or 2 compact fluorescent bulbs


  • This year you will "probably have 1-2 more"
  • This example used to work 
    • but no longer does!
    • Why?


In the longer term,
change often looks
exponential


Lightbulb example:

. . . you start with 1-2, but then accelerate

. . . the rate of increase increases

. . . if you look at an exponential curve with a microscope, what does it look like?

. . . "Exponential": complicated word, tricky math, simple concept

. . . . . . goes up faster and faster

. . . . . . has a doubling time

Exponential curves explained

. . . Popular example: Moore's Law

. . . . . . (# transistors on a chip doubles every 1 1/2 to 2 years)

. . . Similar law proposed for digital camera resolution

. . . . . . (includes 7-second video)

. . . Suppose something doubles every 3 years

. . . new value after t years is original value, v, times 2^(t/3)

             Let's try that for, say, 3 and 6 years:

                   What should happen? What does?

. . . f(t)=to * 2^(t/3)

. . . . . . where does the "doubles" appear?

. . . . . . where does the "every 3 years appear?

. . . . . . so it works for
            any factor of increase and
            any time constant
            What formula gives tripling time?
            What formula gives doubling time of 1.5 years? 10?

The hockey stick fallacy


. . .Exponential curves are
     a kind of "hockey stick curve"
. . . . . .Why?


. . .Why and how shall we pick the key point?

. . .Surprise! The curves are for the same function
. . . . . .x-axis: n
. . . . . .y-axis: 2^n

. . .All I did was s t r e t c h and  >squeeze<  it!

. . . . . .My super-fancy graphical editor: MS Paint

. . .An important lesson:

. . . . . .the hockey stick "knee" is not a mathematical property

. . . . . .it is a purely graphical property! 

. . .Let's try another example...


. . .Where is the "knee" this time?






. . .Surprise! This is the exact same function:
                            y=2^x

. . .This time I just graphed it out to bigger x

. . . . . .spreadsheet automatically squeezed it downward more

. . . . . .(otherwise the graph would be way higher than the roof)

. . .One last example:


. . . . . .the two curves are the same size and shape
. . . . . . . . .(because overall graph size/shapes are the same)

. . . . . .they have different knee locations

. . . . . .they graph the exact same function

. . . . . . . . .one is graphed for x from 1-20

. . . . . . . . .other is graphed for x from 21-40

. . . . . . . . .curve shape & knee location vary with scale

. . . . . . . . . . . .scaling defined by width, height, & axis numbering

. . .Conclusion: 
     The hockey stick "knee" 
     is an optical illusion
     (for exponential curves)

. . . . . .It doesn't really exist

. . . . . .exponential curves accelerate
. . . . . .smoothly at a constant rate


Longer term, things "Level Off": the S-curve


Also called "logistic curve"

Sort of "linear" early on

Then looks "exponential"

Then levels off

Justified by many, many diverse phenomena modelable as:
       Malthusian scenarios
       Constructal Theory scenarios
           A. Bejan and S. Lorente, The constructal law origin of the logistics S curve, Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 110 (2011), 024901, www.constructal.org/en/art/S-curve.pdf.


Do you think 
an even longer-term view 
will look like a 
plateau curve?

Think about transportation by horse,
pencils, compact fluorescents, etc.










.

.




What do you think of these curves?




There are other views of trajectories...

Gartner Hype Cycle











.


(Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gartner_Hype_Cycle.svg)


How might this apply to some of our topics?

There is also the Technology Adoption Life Cycle

There are also other relevant curves for
"thinking quantitatively about technological progress"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Intro to the course

Introduction to the course

1. See flyer

















(Source: Lloyd Walker, precurve@gmail.com, APF mailing list, Feb. 26, 2017)


    History of "this" course

    What are you hoping for?

2. Let's go over the course guidelines

    Any questions?

3. Get to know a neighbor!

    Write their name/info down

    Tell us:
  • Their name
  • What classes they are taking
  • About one thing they think will happen some day
    • (I will list the predictions on the board)
4. Please write on another sheet of paper:

    0-5 topics you would like to discuss

    Then I will read them off

5. Look at HW1, due in a week

    Questions?

6. Wikipedia. What could an advance in Wikipedia be like?

7. Wikiwikipedia. Wikiwikiwikipedia

8. We may start on HW later if time