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Implications of Modern Decision Science for Military Decision-Support Systems

Implications of Modern Decision Science for Military Decision-Support Systems

Paul K. Davis
Jonathan Kulick
Michael Egner
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 180
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  • Book Info
    Implications of Modern Decision Science for Military Decision-Support Systems
    Book Description:

    A selective review of modern decision science and implications for decision-support systems. The study suggests ways to synthesize lessons from research on heuristics and biases with those from "naturalistic research." It also discusses modern tools, such as increasingly realistic simulations, multiresolution modeling, and exploratory analysis, which can assist decisionmakers in choosing strategies that are flexible, adaptive, and robust.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4088-6
    Subjects: Technology, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. Acronyms
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    This monograph presents a selective survey of modern decision science prepared to assist the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in planning its research programs and, more specifically, developing methods and tools for decision support. Our emphasis is on relatively high-level decisionmaking rather than, say, that of pilots or intelligence analysts in the midst of real-time operations. We focus largely on what the military refers to as the strategic and operational levels. This said, we also draw upon considerable tactical-level research that has lessons for our work.

    Definitions are necessary in a study such as this. We take the...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Human Decisionmaking
    (pp. 5-22)

    This chapter concerns the decision process and what decision science tells us about how human beings actually make decisions. Our primary emphasis is on higher-level decisionmaking, but we also draw upon literature that deals with operational decisionmaking, such as that by pilots, firemen, or platoon commanders. We do this in part because the lessons from that research extrapolate to a considerable extent to the decisionmakers on whom we have focused. We also emphasize decisionmaking by individuals. Even when decisions are made by or in groups of people and follow from interpersonal or social decision processes, the participants employ many of...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Classic Analysis Concepts and Their Evolution
    (pp. 23-38)

    Having reviewed the science on human decisionmaking, let us now turn to the aspects of decision science relating to analysis.

    Depending on the discipline that one studies, the origins of “decision analysis” or related subjects may be described quite differently. Some of the strands of what we treat as classic decision science emerged in such diverse fields as economics, political science, management science, operations research, and the operational analysis of World War II. In what follows, we briefly summarize key concepts from an interdisciplinary perspective. For each concept, we provide pointers to relevant literature.

    The origins of decision science are...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Advanced Decision Science for Analysis
    (pp. 39-76)

    This chapter discusses some advanced features of modern decision science that contribute to systems and policy analysis. We have chosen items that appear to us to be particularly important and directly relevant to development of military decision-support systems, and on which we believe we have something useful to say. We begin by discussing several broad themes, after which we go into more detail on methods and enablers. Table 4.1 arrays the topics addressed. The organization of this chapter reflects the fact that the enablers apply to different methods and the methods apply to different themes. That is, much of what...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE The Research Frontier: Reconciling Analytic and Intuitive Considerations
    (pp. 77-94)

    As indicated in Chapter Two, a consensus is forming on how humans make decisions, but major conflicts persist about how humansshouldmake decisions and, by extension, how human decisionmaking can be improved, i.e., what the prescription should be. This chapter moves toward a synthesis on the prescriptive issues.

    The evolution of decisionmaking theory can be envisioned as a slow, steady retreat from the rational-choice model (RCM), as shown schematically in Figure 5.1. The classic notion (sometimes implicit) was that RCM often applied to both actual and desired behavior, which fit well with economic theory of the time. The retreat...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Conclusions
    (pp. 95-98)

    This monograph (including its appendices) provides a highly selective review of decision science developed with the Air Force Research Laboratory in mind. Some highlights follow that may be relevant to AFRL’s research agenda.

    Modern decision science embraces a far greater understanding than was previously available of how individuals and groups go about decisionmaking, the problems to which they are subject, and the issues that should be borne in mind when developing decision support. Not very long ago, much of the emphasis here was on “debiasing” decisions in ways suggested by the heuristics and biases school associated with Kahneman and Tversky....

  15. APPENDIX A Debiasing an Air Campaign
    (pp. 99-102)
  16. APPENDIX B Rethinking Families of Models
    (pp. 103-126)
  17. APPENDIX C Further Discussion of Judgmental Bias and DSS
    (pp. 127-132)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 133-156)