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NTC@Maryland Hosts Seminar by Dr. Jeffrey Herrmann

NTC@Maryland Hosts Seminar by Dr. Jeffrey Herrmann


On Tuesday Oct 21, Dr. Jeffrey W. Herrmann, professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and institute for System Research at the University of Maryland, gave a speech to students, faculty and professionals from industry. The title of the talk was “Improving Engineering Decision Making”.

Dr. Herrmann began the talk with an overview of the technical decision making process. Then, four perspectives in decision making were introduced: (1) Problem solving; (2) Decision-making process; (3) Decision-making system; (4) Integration of above three perspectives.

In the problem solving, the key elements are:

  • decision making method,
  • analyzing relevant data,
  • predicting the performance of the alternatives,
  • finding non-dominate solutions,
  • searching for optimal solutions,
  • presenting important uncertainties, and
  • indicating the key tradeoffs.

In the decision-making system, the subject system would be viewed as a whole. Input-output of the system were introduced first. Problem structuring method was pointed out to be a highly efficient way to improve decision making system perspective. Rich picture was also introduced as means to identify the elements of a system and their relationships in an concise and informative way. It could express accurate description of the current relationship and consensus of the system.

In introducing the integrative strategy for improving decision making incorporated all three perspectives, three procedure were considered in the perspectives:

  • Considering changing the decision making system;
  • Consider changing the decision process;
  • Consider changing the decision making methods.

In the end, the validity of decision-making approach with structural validity and performance validity were presented.

November 2, 2015


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