Robust Decision Making

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Robust decision making (RDM) is an analytic framework that helps identify potential robust strategies, characterize the vulnerabilities of such strategies, and evaluate trade-offs among them. RDM is being used at RAND to help decisionmakers in areas such as water resources planning, energy, and coastal resilience—areas often plagued with “deep uncertainty,” in which stakeholders do not know or agree on the relationships among actions, consequences, and probabilities.

  • An aerial view of Central Texas homes under water at Graveyard Point neighborhood community in the flood plain of Lake Travis, photo by RoschetzkyIstockPhoto / Getty Images

    Content

    Climate Research at RAND

    May 17, 2019

    RAND researchers have a long history of shedding light on the social and economic implications of a changing climate, its impacts on the natural environment, and the challenges it poses to communities, regions, and our national security.

  • Flooding in Pittsburgh,  photo by Artem S/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Green Infrastructure Can Help Manage Rainfall in an Urban Watershed

    Oct 29, 2020

    Urbanization, inadequate investment in aging infrastructure, and more-frequent heavy rainfall events due to climate change have led to sewer overflows, flooding, and reduced water quality in U.S. cities. The challenges of increasing volumes of stormwater can be addressed by a mix of solutions.

Explore Robust Decision Making

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Shaping the Future

    Authors have developed an alternative framework focused on flexibility--finding, testing and implementing policies that work no matter what happens.

    Jan 1, 2005

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Modern Decision Support Science Suggests New Methods and Tools to Support Military Decisionmaking

    Decision science seeks to understand how people make decisions and how those decisions can be improved. Modern developments in decision science could assist the Air Force plan its research programs for improving decision support.

    Jan 1, 2004

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Characterizing Climate-Change Uncertainties for Decision-Makers

    Probability-based estimates can have serious limitations when applied to a problem such as climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should also consider approaches to decision-making under conditions of uncertainty that do not depend on expert consensus on probabilities.

    Jan 1, 2004

  • Report

    Report

    Shaping the Next One Hundred Years: New Methods for Quantitative, Long-Term Policy Analysis

    What should people do today to shape the next hundred years to their liking?

    Jan 1, 2003

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Confronting Surprise

    RAP methods may offer greater insight into the vulnerabilities inherent in several types of surprises.

    Jan 1, 2002

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    A New Decision Sciences for Complex Systems

    Computer-Assisted Reasoning, an approach to decision-making under conditions of uncertainty suited to applying complex systems to policy analysis.

    Jan 1, 2002

  • Report

    Report

    The Emergence of Peer Competitors: A Framework for Analysis

    This report addresses the issue by developing a conceptual framework of how a proto-peer (meaning a state that is not yet a peer but has the potential to become one) might interact with the hegemon (the dominant global power).

    Jan 1, 2001

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Computer-assisted Reasoning

    Computer models provide a powerful tool for reasoning about difficult problems.

    Jan 1, 2001

  • Report

    Report

    Robust Strategies for Abating Climate Change

    Robust Strategies for Abating Climate Change

    Jan 1, 2001

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Climate-change Strategy Needs to Be Robust

    Recommendation for use of ensembles of multiple scenarios to capture what is known about the long-term climate future.

    Jan 1, 2001

  • Report

    Report

    New Methods for Robust Science and Technology Planning

    In the fall of 1996, RAND researchers conducted a successful proof-of-concept demonstration for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of new methods for science and technology (S and T) planning.

    Jan 1, 1998

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Sociotechnical Reinvention: Implementation Dynamics and Collaboration Tools

    Sociotechnical systems theory suggests several themes about implementation, including continuous mutual adaptation of tool and context, task emphasis, the priority of process, and changes in evaluative criteria over time.

    Jan 1, 1998

  • Report

    Report

    Computational Experiments and Exploratory Modeling

    Computational Experiments and Exploratory Modeling

    Jan 1, 1994

  • Report

    Report

    The Nature of Uncertainty

    A discussion of the dimensions of the problem of uncertainty: the distinction between risk and uncertainty, the phase of the weapon system life cycle, and the level of suboptimization being considered in the decision problem at hand.

    Nov 1, 1973

  • People

    People

    Sandra H. Berry

    Senior Behavioral Scientist; Senior Director, Survey Research Group
    Education M.A. in sociology, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in American Studies/Art History, Goucher College

  • People

    People

    David Catt

    Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education B.S. in civil engineering, University of Kansas

  • People

    People

    Jeremy M. Eckhause

    Senior Operations Researcher
    Education Ph.D. in civil engineering, University of Maryland, College Park; M.S.E. in operations research, Princeton University; B.A. in mathematics, University of Pennsylvania

  • People

    People

    Jordan R. Fischbach

    Senior Policy Researcher
    Education Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; B.A. in history, Columbia University

  • People

    People

    David G. Groves

    Director, RAND Center for Decision Making Under Uncertainty; Adjunct Policy Researcher; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.S. in atmospheric sciences, University of Washington; M.S. in earth systems, Stanford University; B.S. in geological and environmental sciences, Stanford University

  • People

    People

    Kyle Haak

    Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education B.S. in physics, U.S. Air Force Academy