DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS AND TWO TYPES OF UNCERTAINTY REDUCTION

Document type: Conference Papers
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Bertil Rolf
Title: DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS AND TWO TYPES OF UNCERTAINTY REDUCTION
Conference name: IAIA
Year: 2006
Pagination: 134-157
City: Stavanger
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Management (Sektionen för management)
School of Management S- 371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.bth.se/mam/
Authors e-mail: bertil.rolf@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: Recent advancement in cognitive science and software development enables new kinds of decision support tools avoiding the collapse of the grand rationalist planning ideals of the 1960's. The older versions of decision support was directed mainly towards the reduction of epistemic uncertainty. They focused on the inference processes of reasoning. New generations of decision support tools will focus also on more pressing conceptual uncertainty. Conceptual uncertainty is at the root of so called "wicked problems" and conflicts related to "essentially contested concepts", e.g. the notion of "sustainability". The paper shows that conceptual uncertainty is a problem for Swedish environmental decision making. The paper argues that such uncertainty cannot be dealt with by decision support tools for reducing epistemic uncertainty. The paper shows that dialectic inquiry in the tradition of Arne Naess and Stephen Toulmin and multi party negotiations are ways of managing conceptual uncertainty. The paper also introduces two kinds of software packages, Athena Standard and Athena Negotiator, supporting dialectic inquiry and negotiations, respectively. Such low budget tools with low user threshold and wide applicability may help us avoid some obvious and possibly costly or disastrous failures in social reasoning and decision making.
Subject: Computer Science\Artificial Intelligence
Keywords: Uncertainty recuction Conceptual Uncertainty Decision Support Environmental Decision Making Rewasoning software
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