The paper describes the application of a novel, experi-ence-based approach to modelling, known as Empirical Modelling (EM), to the challenging task of building effective strategic decision support systems (SDSS). As a case study a restaurant management model is described which illustrates how EM can be applied to issues which are characteristic of SDSS such as imprecise problems, the need for end-user development and 'negotiation modelling'. The three concepts of observable, dependency and agency are fundamental to EM. They lead to a distinctive approach to computers as instruments capable of embodying our knowledge of a domain and giving us experiential feedback from models which can be directly compared with the results of interaction with the world. This is the basis for claiming that EM offers a new quality of human-computer interaction which in turn allows for a much enhanced openness and flexibility in systems such as SDSS where the collaboration of human and computer-based processes is crucial.
Decision support systems, human-computer interaction, modelling, experience