brainstorming, crowds, innovation

New PNAS research suggests to collaborate on complex problems but only intermittently

Solving a complex problem in a group with constant interaction improves average performance but depresses maximum performance. In contrast, isolated individuals produce a few fantastic solutions with high variance of solution quality, but, as a group, isolated solvers generate a low average solution.

The research suggests that keeping problem-solvers only intermittently connected with social ties and their own previous work preserve the best of both worlds to produce nearly identical average solution quality with enough variation to find some of the best solutions, too.

Read the paper here, and see here for an explanation of the key findings.

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