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Find out moreI hope you will enjoy and profit from this overview of learning curves. As always, I enjoy your feedback …

Duncan Williamson April 2001

duncan.williamson@tesco.net at any time! April 2001

Learning Curves 1

Learning curves are a vital aspect of the work of many business and commercial settings.

Duncan Williamson April 2001

The more we do a job, the quicker we do it … the man who made 6 million boxes!

Learning Curves 2

**Learning applies to people, machinery, systems
**

Duncan Williamson April 2001

80% learning curve usually assumed … but

342.80 … 1.Learning Curves 3 80% Learning Rate Batches Total Time 1 2 4 8 … 128 50.00 80.18 CAT Duncan Williamson April 2001 .00 128.00 204.

00 204.80 … 1.60 … 10.342.00 32.00 128.49 Duncan Williamson April 2001 .00 40.00 25.Learning Curves 4 80% Learning Rate Batches Total Time 1 2 4 8 … 128 50.18 CAT 50.00 80.

Learning Curves 5 Batches 1 2 4 8 … 128 No Learning Total Time 50.00 100.00 … 6.00 50.00 CAT 50.00 … 50.00 200.00 50.00 50.00 Duncan Williamson April 2001 .00 400.400.

Learning Curves 6 Implications of learning taking place as opposed to no learning taking place … Duncan Williamson April 2001 .

00 128.Learning Curves 7: £1/hour 80% Learning Rate Batches Total Time Labour Cost 1 2 4 8 … 128 50.00 204.342.80 … 1.00 128.00 80.18 50.342.00 204.18 Duncan Williamson April 2001 .80 … 1.00 80.

00 400.Learning Curves 8: £1/hour Batches 1 2 4 8 … 128 No Learning Total Time Labour Cost 50.00 100.00 … 6.00 200.00 100.400.00 … 6.400.00 200.00 400.00 Duncan Williamson April 2001 .00 50.

Learning Curves 9 Imagine now that each batch is made up of 5 units … Duncan Williamson April 2001 .

44 10.00 40.Learning Curves 10 Units 5 10 20 40 … 640 Average Cost/unit 80% No Learning Learning 10.00 80.00 Duncan Williamson April 2001 .60 40.00 20.96 268.00 25.280.00 16.00 1.

Learning Curves 11 Learning curve: 80% 60.000 50.000 CAT Duncan Williamson April 2001 30.000 10.000 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 Batch Number .000 40.000 0.000 20.

000 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 Batch Number .Learning Curves 12 Learning curve: 90% 60.000 0.000 CAT Duncan Williamson April 2001 30.000 50.000 40.000 10.000 20.

000 10.000 40.000 50.000 20.000 CAT Duncan Williamson April 2001 30.000 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 Batch Number .000 0.Learning Curves 13 Learning curve: 60% 60.

Duncan Williamson April 2001 Learning Curves 14: overlays .

4. 8. 16 … 128 … Now it gets mathematical! .Learning Curves 15: formulae Duncan Williamson April 2001 It’s very difficult to calculate or predict the CAT for anything other than the CAT at the DOUBLING POINT: 1. 2.

Learning Curves 16: formulae Y = aX b Duncan Williamson April 2001 where Y = CAT or CAC a = time/cost of the 1st unit or batch X = cumulative production or batches produced b = learning exponent (rate) and lnLearning Rate b= ln2 .

Learning Curves 17: formulae Now we can calculate or predict the CAT for any number of batches. eg Duncan Williamson April 2001 a = 50 hours X = 128 batches learning rate = 80% b = ln0.8/ln2 = -0.22314/0.69315 = -0.32193 .

48576 Duncan Williamson April 2001 So total time = 10.32193 = 10.48576 This means that at 128 batches.Learning Curves 18: formulae Y = aX = 50 * 128 b -0. CAT = 10.48576 * 128 = 1.342.18 .

Learning Curves 19: exercise Your turn … eg Duncan Williamson April 2001 a = 100 hours X = 64 batches learning rate = 80% .

2141 Duncan Williamson April 2001 So total time = 26.71 .2141 This means that at 64 batches.2141 * 64 = 1.Learning Curves 19b: solution Y = aX = 100 * 64 b -0.677. CAT = 26.32193 = 26.

Learning Curves 20: exercise Try again … eg Duncan Williamson April 2001 a = 60 hours X = 32 batches learning rate = 90% .

787 .15200 = 35.4298 This means that at 32 batches.125.4298 * 32 = 2. CAT = 35.Learning Curves 20b: solution Y = aX = 60 * 32 b -0.4298 Duncan Williamson April 2001 So total time = 35.

Learning Curves 21 In general terms. the following guidelines might be useful for us Duncan Williamson April 2001 75% hand assembly/25% machining = 80% learning 50% hand assembly/50% machining = 85% learning 25% hand assembly/75% machining = 90% .

Learning Curves 22 Alternatively. industry averages: Duncan Williamson April 2001 Aerospace Shipbuilding Raw materials 85% 80 – 85% 93 – 96% Purchased parts 85 – 88% .

Learning Curves 23 For the rest of this session. we’ll look at ways of assessing our own learning rates Duncan Williamson April 2001 .

Learning Curves 24: results Trial No 1 2 3 4 Duncan Williamson April 2001 Time Taken 5 6 7 8 9 10 .

Learning Curves 25 Activities: Duncan Williamson April 2001 Jigsaw Finding numbers in a grid (a) and (b) Copying text (a) and (b) .

Duncan Williamson April 2001 Let’s just review what we found and some implications Of that.Learning Curves: follow up 1 I hope you found last week’s learning curve experiments Interesting and informative. .

Learning Curves: follow up 2 We have learning rates of less than 70% and greater Than 100%. Here’s why … . but our Experiments can not confirm that we are. everyone would like to think that they are The smartest person on the planet. Duncan Williamson April 2001 Of course.

I set up the experiments to demonstrate How to make learning curve theory come to life.Learning Curves: follow up 3 Remember. My experiments were not wholly scientifically designed. Even if they were good fun! Duncan Williamson April 2001 . and To provide ways in which we can practice the Mathematics in an interesting way.

Learning Curves: follow up 4 I tried to make the experiments are similar to each Other as possible Duncan Williamson April 2001 eg all the sentences in the writing experiment had An average of 33 letters in them The number grids all had the SAME 20 numbers in them Each trial was designed to take about 1 minute .

Learning Curves: follow up 5 Some other points that we should think about and get Our students to think about include Duncan Williamson April 2001 The observer will learn from the first guinea pig: we Found that the second person to carry out an Experiment had a much quicker 1st trial time than The first guinea pig. .

eg. the young lady who carried out the bead Threading exercise for me … Duncan Williamson April 2001 . that Could be because you are already proficient at that Activity. say.Learning Curves: follow up 6 Where on the learning curve was the guinea pig? If your learning rate is. 98% or even 105%.

What would you expect to find? Duncan Williamson April 2001 .Learning Curves: follow up 7 Suppose you were to carry out the experiments again.

as we saw last week. Or it could present us with a discontinuous Learning curve … Duncan Williamson April 2001 .Learning Curves: follow up 8 Repeating an experiment or a task can lead to a Perfectly usual learning curve.

0000 50.0000 350.0000 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 trials session 1 session 2 .0000 150.07% 66.0000 200.0000 100.28 done on day 4 450.19% 92.0000 0.33% Duncan Williamson April 2001 CAT 250.0000 300.0000 Learning rate 1 Learning rate 2 Learning rate 1+2 68.Learning Curves: follow up 9 Learning Exercise: Trials 1 .14 done on day 1 Trials 15 .0000 400.

April Duncan Williamson April 2001 . Do the experiments. I like learning curves and find all students like doing what I’ve shown here.Learning Curves: conclusion I hope you have enjoyed and will profit from this overview of learning curves.williamson@tesco.net at any time to discuss these slides. draw the graphs and discuss what you find … there’s a lot to discover! Write to me: duncan. do the calculations.

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