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Decision Theory, Modelling and Analysis

Although my research interests are broad – some say too broad! – thay have always centred around applications of decision theory and analysis to structure and support thinking and judgement. I find the frameworks provided by Bayesian approaches to decision making helpful in supporting experts, stakeholders and decision makers anticipate and assess the risks and benefits of different strategies. I have found this to be the case whether I am working with individuals, groups or societies. I have published several books in which I and colleagues have explored the implications of this for supporting decision making processes.

  1. S. French (1986). Decision Theory: an Introduction to the Mathematics of Rationality. Chichester, Ellis Horwood. Now out of print, but I am working with Proabilistic Publishing to produce a second edition – well more a reprint with additional commentary and references at the ends of chapters.
  2. S. French, Ed. (1988). Readings in Decision Analysis. London, Chapman and Hall.
  3. S. French and J. Q. Smith, Eds. (1997). The Practice of Bayesian Analysis. London, Arnold.
  4. S. French and D. Rios Insua (2000) Statistical Decision Theory. Edward Arnold, London . Now published by Wiley. Details
  5. S. French, J. Maule and N. Papamichail (2009) Decision Behaviour, Analysis and Support. Cambridge University Press. Details

Current research interests in this area relate to:

  • Problem Structuring. How do we categorise decision problem so that we can see what approaches to modelling and analysis may be the more useful. How do we address major uncertainties that can be too ill defined to model usefully with probability? Current working papers on this topic are:
    • S. French (2011) ‘Cynefin, Statistics and Decision Analysis’. Journal of the Operational Research Society. (In press). Link.
    • T.J. Stewart, S. French and J. Rios (2013) ‘Integration of Multicriteria Decision Analysis and Scenario Planning’ Omega. 41, 679-688. Link
    • S. French (2015) Cynefin: uncertainty, small worlds and scenarios’ Journal of the Operational Research Society. 66 (10), 1635 –1645. Link
  • Aggregation of Expert Judgement.
  • Group support issues in decision analysis, especially in relation to stakeholder engagwement and public participation. I have recently been working on how decision analysis can fit with political processes. Preprint.