Deep Uncertainty [chapter]

Warren E. Walker, Robert J. Lempert, Jan H. Kwakkel
2013 Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science  
Without Abstract Uncertainty In Model-Based Decision Support The notion of uncertainty has taken different meanings and emphases in various fields, including the physical sciences, engineering, statistics, economics, finance, insurance, philosophy, and psychology. Analyzing the notion in each discipline can provide a specific historical context and scope in terms of problem domain, relevant theory, methods, and tools for handling uncertainty. Such analyses are given by Agusdinata (2008) , van
more » ... nata (2008) , van Asselt (2000) , Morgan and Henrion (1990), andSmithson (1989). In general, uncertainty can be defined as limited knowledgeabout future, past, or current events. With respect to policymaking, the extent of uncertainty clearly involves subjectivity, since it is related to the satisfaction with existing knowledge, which is colored by the underlying values and perspectives of the policymakerand the various actors involved in the policymaking process, and the decision options available to them. Shannon (1948) formalized the relationship between the uncertainty about an event and information in his 1948 paper "A Mathematical Theory of Communication." He defined a concept he called entropy as a measure of the average information content associated with a random outcome. Roughly speaking, the concept of entropy in information theory describes how much information there is in a signal or event and relates this to the degree of uncertainty about a given event having some probability distribution. Uncertainty is not simply the absence of knowledge. Funtowicz and Ravetz (1990) describe uncertainty as a situation of inadequate information, which can be of three sorts:inexactness, unreliability, and border with ignorance. However, uncertainty can prevail in situations in which ample information is available (Van Asselt and Rotmans, 2002) . Furthermore, new information can
doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-1153-7_1140 fatcat:vlyc4inlnnbtta75qwk25itepq