05 April 2016









Jeffrey Keisler visited ASA, IIASA

Jeffrey Keisler, the Fulbright-Aalto University Distinguished Chair, visited the Advanced System Analysis program from 29 March to 5 April, 2016 and gave a talk on "Economic decision analysis: Concepts and applications"

Talk abstract 

Many strategic business decisions revolve around economics of supply and demand. It can be difficult to fully capture such concerns within typical decision analysis models. The problem is that the language and methods of economic analysis makes key distinctions between real-valued variables and functions of real-valued variables, e.g., quantity supplied and demanded vs. supply and demand functions. In contrast, decision analytic modeling typically incorporates decision variables and random variables which have either nominal values or real values, consequences of which are then mapped to preferences with a utility function. To reconcile these approaches, we can create decision models where functions themselves are variables, e.g., an uncertain demand function.  Such decision modeling builds on standard decision analytic techniques, but also presents some challenges. An illustration of this modified approach is its previous use on the problem of R&D portfolio selection for carbon abatement technologies. Currently, this approach may be useful in supporting decisions about emerging platform ecosystems.


Jeffrey Keisler is currently serving as Fulbright-Aalto University Distinguished Chair. He has over 25 years experience in decision analysis, working in industry, government and consulting prior to becoming a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and earned his Ph.D. in Decision Sciences under Howard Raiffa at Harvard University. His research bridges theory and practice of decision analysis. His interests includes portfolio decision analysis, value of information techniques, and philosophy of modeling, as well as risks and benefits of technology in various domains. He is the Past-President of the INFORMS Decision Analysis Society and was President of the Society for Risk Analysis, Decision Analysis & Risk Specialty Group. He is an editor at the European Journal of Decision Processes and an editor of the Springer series on Risk Systems and Decisions, as well an associate editor at Interfaces and editorial board member at Decision Analysis and Environment Systems and Decisions. He received the Decision Analysis Society Publication Award in 2013. He has one co-edited book and one co-authored book, and around fifty journal articles.


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Last edited: 31 March 2016

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