Join the National Security Risk Analysis Community on 30 November at 1200 ET!
Professor Ben-Haim - a professor of mechanical engineering - initiated and developed info-gap decision theory for modelling and managing severe uncertainty, a decision-support tool, providing a methodology for assisting in assessment and selection of policy, strategy, action, or decision in a wide range of disciplines.
Info-gap theory has impacted the fundamental understanding of uncertainty in human affairs, and is applied in decision making by scholars and practitioners around the world in engineering, biological conservation, economics, project management, climate change, natural hazard response, national security, medicine, and other areas initiated and developed info-gap decision theory for modelling and managing severe uncertainty.
"Nations face two types of challenges - threats and opportunities - both of which are usually very uncertain. Intelligence analysis must support the selection of policy or action in response to both types of challenges. This talk focuses on methodology in support of decision making, and claims that different analytical tools are appropriate for threats and for opportunities. Decision support for responding to threats should be based on evaluating the robustness against uncertainty, while guaranteeing specified critical outcomes. In this approach, the quality of the outcome is adequate (the outcome is satisficed) while the robustness to surprise is maximized. This methodology is called robust satisficing. This differs from the standard approach of attempting to achieve an optimal outcome. Decision support for responding to opportunities should be based on exploiting favorable circumstances to facilitate (though not necessarily guarantee) better than anticipated outcomes. In this approach the analyst supports a decision maker who aims at wonderful windfall outcomes at the lowest possible uncertainty. This is called opportune windfalling. We discuss several examples: Tactical Japanese Decision at Pearl Harbor, Strategic Japanese Decision on a Defensive Cordon, First Meeting of Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill in 1943. We then explore the theoretical properties of, and relation between, these two decision strategies, based on info-gap decision theory."
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