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Robust decision making and Epoch–Era analysis: A comparison of two robustness frameworks for decision-making under uncertainty

Version 2 2024-06-13, 07:15
Version 1 2023-10-24, 05:04
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-13, 07:15 authored by EA Moallemi, S Elsawah, MJ Ryan
Several model-based frameworks have been introduced in support of robust decision-making. While they agree on a need to cope with uncertainty for robust inferences, the frameworks differ in the way that they treat uncertainty and obtain decision insights. In this article, we compare and contrast two such frameworks: Robust Decision Making and Epoch–Era Analysis. We critically analyse the two frameworks in terms of their aims and expected decision insights, the way they cope with uncertainty, and the extent to which they use model-based and participatory analysis. Our conceptual comparison sheds light on the strengths and limitations of the two frameworks in different contexts. We then apply both frameworks to an illustrative case to analyse their benefits and caveats in practice. We conclude that the superiority of each framework is not unconditional, and depends on the context and the problem at hand. While Robust Decision Making is a more effective framework under contested and imprecise information about the future, Epoch–Era Analysis can work better when stakeholder knowledge about the future allows a deliberative specification of future scenarios. The evaluation of both frameworks’ strengths and limitations can contribute to future methodological developments in the literature on decision-making under uncertainty.

History

Journal

Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Volume

151

Article number

ARTN 119797

Pagination

1-Nov

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0040-1625

eISSN

1873-5509

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC