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Tools

Structuring tools and techniques, many of which stem from the decision sciences, help to distinguish an SDM approach.  These tools provide discipline and decision-focus both to technical analysis and to value-based deliberations. A small sample of them are briefly described here.

Influence Diagrams

Influence diagrams are a conceptual modeling tool that graphically represent the causal relationships between decisions, external factors, uncertainties and outcomes. More

Eliciting Expert Judgments

There are well-established methods for eliciting judgments from experts that minimize a range of psychological biases. More

Value Trees

A value tree, like an objectives hierarchy, shows how higher order objectives are linked to sub-objectives and eventually to performance measures or attributes. More

Bayesian Networks

Bayesian networks describe the nature of the probabilistic inter-dependence of factors (or ‘nodes’) in an influence diagram. Conditional probabilities for complex belief networks can be calculated by computer algorithms using Bayes Theorem. More

Inference Trees

Inference trees document explanatory factors used in making an assessment of impact level, along with the supporting data used. More

Strategy Tables

A strategy table is a convenient (and strategic) way of creating a small number of logical, internally consistent and informative alternatives when there are many possible ways to mix and match actions. More

Value Models

A weighted index or a value model is a scale that weights and combines different kinds of impacts into a single metric for reporting purposes. More

Defined Level Scales

These reduce ambiguity in comparing the performance of alternatives by defining and describing discrete levels of impact. More

Key Ideas

  • A wide variety of tools and techniques are available to help apply SDM to complex, real-world situations
  • Those listed here are just a sample