COPYRIGHT © 2016-2017 by Michael Herman, Toronto Canada. All rights reserved.
[If you “only want to see the pictures”, scroll down to Figure 4.]
This article is the second in a series on Graphitization. Click here to explore the other articles in this series.
Ray Dalio is Chairman & Chief Investment Officer at Bridgewater Associates, L.P., the world’s largest hedge fund, and is well known for The Principles that he and his colleagues at Bridgewater use to govern themselves and each other. Mr. Dalio has published the 200+ Principles in a 123-page document and made the content publically available on a dedicated website: Principles by Ray Dalio (“The Principles”). Here is his description of The Principles…
“What is written here is just my understanding of what it takes: my most fundamental life principles, my approach to getting what I want, and my “management principles,” which are based on those foundations. Taken together, these principles are meant to paint a picture of a process for the systematic pursuit of truth and excellence and for the rewards that accompany this pursuit. I put them in writing for people to consider in order to help Bridgewater and the people I care about most.”
I encourage you to read more of his Introduction here.
What is Graphitization?
Graphitization is a data science approach for collecting, organizing, analyzing, and visualizing any domain of endeavor by using graphs – networks of connected nodes and relationships with each node and relationship annotated with additional descriptive information (metadata).
In the article Graphitization of the Enterprise, I’ve provided a number of illustrations of how one field of endeavor, the continuous transformation of large enterprise organizations, can benefit from graphitization. My blog contains several additional examples of graphitization applied to traditional enterprise architecture; for example, Crossing the EA Chasm: Automating Enterprise Architecture Modeling #2.
Why not try applying graphitization to something completely different?
Graphitization of Ray Dalio’s Principles
A few weeks ago (December 22, 2016), the Wall Street Journal published an article (The World’s Largest Hedge Fund Is Building an Algorithmic Model From its Employees’ Brains) which describes Mr. Dalio’s vision for creating “The Book of the Future.”
“One employee familiar with the project described it as “like trying to make Ray’s brain into a computer.””
2 + 2 = ? You guessed it. Why not try to graphitize part of Mr. Dalio’s brain?
That is, why not try to turn The Principles into a computer model that documents each Principle, its hierarchical inter-relationships, and, via some sophisticated cloud-based text analysis services, visualize all of the important interconnections based on a set of computer-chosen key phrases?
This article documents Iteration 1 of the Graphitization of Ray Dalio’s Principles.
Wisdom in, Wisdom out
Today, there are several easy-to-use technologies that enable developers to view web pages as sophisticated databases. The Principles website (a single web page) is no exception.
A simple query like the one below makes it is easy to exact the hierarchy of Sections, Topics, Principles, Subprinciples, Summary Paragraphs, Questions, Bullets, Figures, etc. from The Principles using a single statement.
Figure 1. The Principles Web Page Query
A sample portion of The Principles web page appears below and has the following structure:
- “To Get The Culture Right…” is a Section. There are 4 Sections at the top level of the Publication.
- “TRUST IN TRUTH” is a Topic and it is also a numbered Principle.
- “Realize that you have nothing to fear from truth.” is a numbered Principle.
- Principles can contain numbered Subprinciples.
- Topics, Principles, and Subprinciples can have (unnumbered) Summary Paragraphs, Questions, Bullets, Figures, etc.
Topics, Principles, and Subprinciples are numbered sequentially; there is no hierarchical numbering scheme.
Figure 2. Web Page Sample: The Principles By Ray Dalio
In my ModelMate model for The Principles, 3 classes of key phrases are used to cross-index each Topic, Principle, Subprinciple, etc.
- Key Topics – short phrases deemed to be particularly relevant and interesting across the entire document (i.e. the corpus)
- Key Phrases – short phrases deemed to be of particular importance within the scope of a single title, paragraph of text, question, or bullet.
- Other Phrases – additional key phrases chosen because they are particularly relevant to Bridgewater, Mr. Dalio, and The Principles.
In total, there are 2470 key phases; about 200 of these are Key Topics selected by a cloud-based text analytics service, about 300 are Other Phases. The remaining Key Phrases (with a few overlaps) were selected by a different text analytics service that was run against the text of each individual Topic, Principle, Subprinciple, etc.
A sample of the ingested The Principles web page content looks like the following (click to enlarge):
Figure 3. Ingested Web Page
Results of Iteration 1
The entire structure and content of The Principles was ingested during Iteration 1 of this project:
- 210 principles comprised of 768 artifacts (titles, paragraphs, questions, bullets, …)
- 767 structural relationships
- 2470 key phrases
- 6126 key phrase-principle semantic relationships
The sample queries below highlight The Principles that are related to 2 critically important concepts at Bridgewater: “radically” and “transparent” (including all words that have these words as reasonable root words).
The single line queries found all artifacts that were in some way related to the 2 key phases; then calculated the traceability up to through to the top (beginning) of The Principles (click to enlarge).
Figure 4. All Topics, Principles, Subprinciples, etc. with Traceability to the Key Phases “radically” and “transparent”
The large orange dot represents the top (the root of the web page). The large blue dots represent the 4 top-level Sections in The Principles:
- To Get the Culture Right…
- To Get the People Right…
- To Perceive, Diagnose, and Solve Problems…
- To Make Decisions Effectively…
The green dots are Topics; the red dots are Principles; and, the purple dots are Subprinciples. Key Phrases appear as pink dots. The gray dots are Commentary Paragraphs, Questions, Bullets, Figures, etc.
Figure 5 (below) includes some exploration (expansion) of Principal 2. Realize that you have nothing to fear from truth.
Figure 5. Principal 2. Realize that you have nothing to fear from truth.
In the end, extending the ModelMate platform to support the above produced more learning than what I’ve been able to glean from subsequent exploration of the graphitization of The Principles. Perhaps someone with more familiarity with The Principles can contact me with some interesting use cases. I’m extremely curious to derive more value from this model
To see a more meaningful visualization of The Principles, check out Graphitization of Ray Dalio’s Principles: Iteration 2.
Michael Herman (Toronto)