Best practices for designing algorithms for computation gangs
- Maximize the duty cycle of all elements. E.g., do not idle a processor while a human element is occupied with a visual recognition task. Pass the task as early as possible in the algorithm, then occupy the processor with indexing, sorting, or other processor-intensive activities. Similarly, keep human elements constantly occupied, even with trivial calculations, not only to maximize efficiency but also to prevent them from becoming bored and inattentive.
- Head off cross-talk. E.g., if a variable is tracked by moving seeds between cups, and birds are introduced elsewhere in the gang, replace the seeds with inedible counters (preferably not shiny). (Because of cross-talk, use of crows in computation gangs is to be strictly avoided.)
- Maximize component quality. E.g., the reliability and read/write time of quipu memory banks are improved with good strong vicuña wool cords.
- Maintain your elements. Use of a verified uninterruptible power supply for electronic elements of computation gangs is required by MOSHA. Just because no regulations require regular feeding, watering, rest, and medical care for organic elements is no excuse to neglect their maintenance. Pay especial attention to the needs of plants, which may be operating sub-optimally well before they wilt.
- Binary ants and walruses have historically been fiddly and seem to be growing more so; they should be avoided as computation-gang elements where possible.