Robust Decision Making
The 2003 book Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Long-Term Policy Analysis lays out four key elements for successful long-term policy analysis:
- Consider large ensembles of plausible futures, not a single best estimate forecast
- Seek robust strategies that perform well across many plausible futures, not a strategy optimal for one particular view
- Employ adaptive strategies, ones that evolve over time in response to changing conditions
- Use the computer as a “prosthesis for the imagination,” not a calculator
Chapter 3 of this book describes robust decision-making (RDM), a quantitative policy analytic method that captures these key elements.
Many Pardee Center projects use this RDM approach.
Shaping the Future — March 2005
This article provides a brief summary of RDM.
Managing the Risk of Uncertain Threshold Responses: Comparison of Robust, Optimum, and Precautionary Approaches — Oct 2007
This study uses a simple computer simulation model to compare several alternative frameworks for decision making under uncertainty–optimal expected utility, the precautionary principle, and three different approaches to robust decision making–for addressing the challenge of adding pollution to a lake without triggering unwanted and potentially irreversible eutrophication.