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short stories from The Diary of Anne Ku and Bon Journal

My books in progress

Decision Analysis Sources

"To be or not to be, that is the question...."

New! How do people make decisions?

The decision of indecision and other dilemmas, Le Bon Journal newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 4, 2 page PDF

Decision making in clutter management, Be Clutter-Free web site.

Risk and flexibility in electricity: introduction to the fundamentals and techniques, edited by Anne Ku, a RiskBooks publication, November 2003


Decision making workshop - Saturday 18 September 2004 London



To me, decision analysis is a structured, scientific approach to analysing decisions for the purposes of making a good decision with desirable outcome.  There are many ways to do this, but fundamentally they rest on decision theory.  That is, a rational person is out to maximise his/her utility - i.e. subjective value.  Decision analysis techniques originally started with decision trees and then influence diagrams.   Nowadays, there are many variations on the same theme.


Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa (1999) wrote a decision analysis book for the layman, called "Smart Choices."  PrOACT is the process they advocate for multi-objective, multi-criteria decisions with no uncertainty.  Starting with description of the Problem, the approach then proceeds to defining the Objectives, finding Alternatives, determining Consequences, before making Trade-offs.  There are very few diagrams.  The jargon is easy to understand.  The examples are easy to relate to.  It is the kind of book I would like to write, i.e. for the masses.  However, I would have more diagrams and real-life case studies.

Before PrOACT, Ralph Keeney wrote "Value-Focused Thinking:  A Path to Creative Decision Making."  I eventually met him at an INFORMS conference in San Diego, California where I gave my talk on "Timing of Deregulation."  Some of the methods I used in the study were initially brainstormed with Robert Clemen, author of "Making Hard Decisions:  An Introduction to Decision Analysis" at another INFORMS conference in Atlanta, Georgia previously.