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Workshop: Information-Theoretic Principles in Cognitive Systems

The Information Bottleneck Principle in Corporate Hierarchies

Cameron Gordon


The hierarchical nature of corporate information processing is a topic of great interest in economic and management literature. Firms are characterised by a need to make complex decisions, often aggregating partial and uncertain information, which greatly exceeds the attention capacity of constituent individuals. However, the efficient transmission of these signals is still not fully understood. Recently, the information bottleneck principle has emerged as a powerful tool for understanding the transmission of relevant information through intermediate levels in a hierarchical structure. In this paper we note that the information bottleneck principle may similarly be applied directly to corporate hierarchies. In doing so we provide a bridge between organisation theory and that of rapidly expanding work in deep neural networks (DNNs), including the use of skip connections as a means of more efficient transmission of information in hierarchical organisations.

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