Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty

From Theory to Practice

Published in: Springer Nature Switzerland AG (2019). doi:10.1007/978-3-030-05252-2

Posted on RAND.org on April 11, 2019

by V. A. Marchau, Warren Walker, Pieter J. Bloemen, Steven W. Popper

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Decisionmaking for the future depends on anticipating change. And this anticipation is becoming increasingly difficult, thus creating anxiety when we seek to conform short-term decisions to long-term objectives or to prepare for rare events. Decisionmakers, and the analysts upon whom they rely, have had good reason to feel decreasing confidence in their ability to anticipate correctly future technological, economic, and social developments, future changes in the system they are trying to improve, or the multiplicity and time-varying preferences of stakeholders regarding the system's outcomes. Consider, for example, decisionmaking related to the consequences of climate change, the future demand for and means for providing mobility, the planning of mega-scale infrastructure projects, the selection of energy sources to rely on in the future, the role of genomics in health care, or how cities will develop. Or think of rare events like a natural disaster, a financial crisis, or a terrorist attack.

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