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Information Resource
Record information and status
Record ID
101032
Status
Published
Date of creation
2010-03-08 19:42 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2012-05-10 19:13 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-10 19:13 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)

General Information
Title
Defining Uncertainty - A Conceptual Basis for Uncertainty Management in Model-Based Decision Support
Author
W.E. WALKER, P. HARREMO€EES, J. ROTMANS, J.P. VAN DER SLUIJS, M.B.A. VAN ASSELT, P. JANSSEN AND M.P. KRAYER VON KRAUSS
Organization(s) involved in the publication of this resource
Swets
2161 CA Lisse
P.O. Box 800
Heereweg
Netherlands, 347B
Phone:+0031 252 43 51 11
Fax:+0031 252 41 58 88
Email:info@nl.swets.com
Language(s)
  • English
Publication date
2003
Subject
Summary, abstract or table of contents
The aim of this paper is to provide a conceptual basis for the systematic treatment of uncertainty in model-based decision support activities such as policy analysis, integrated assessment and risk assessment. It focuses on the uncertainty perceived from the point of view of those providing information to support policy decisions (i.e., the modellers' view on uncertainty) - uncertainty regarding the analytical outcomes and  conclusions of the decision support exercise. Within the regulatory and management sciences, there is neither commonly shared terminology nor full agreement on a typology of uncertainties. Our aim is to synthesise a wide variety of contributions on uncertainty in model-based decision support in order to provide an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for systematic uncertainty analysis. To that end we adopt a general definition of  uncertainty as being any deviation from the unachievable ideal of completely deterministic knowledge of the relevant system. We further propose to discriminate among three dimensions of uncertainty: location, level and nature of uncertainty, and we harmonise existing typologies to further detail the concepts behind these three dimensions of uncertainty.We propose an uncertainty matrix as a heuristic tool to classify and report the various dimensions of uncertainty, thereby providing a conceptual framework for better communication among analysts as well as between them and policymakers and stakeholders. Understanding the various dimensions of uncertainty helps in identifying, articulating, and prioritising critical uncertainties, which is a crucial step to more adequate acknowledgement and treatment of uncertainty in decision support endeavours and more focused research on complex, inherently uncertain, policy issues.
Thematic areas
  • Scientific and technical issues
    • Risk assessment
  • Risk assessment and risk management
Background material to the “Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms”
Is this document is recommend as background material for the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms”
Yes
Section(s) of the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” this background material is relevant
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
Identifier
1389-5176/03/0401-005
Publisher and its location
Swets & Zeitlinger, The Netherlands
Rights
© Swets & Zeitlinger
Format
13-page PDF file
Keywords and any other relevant information
Keywords: uncertainty, ignorance, model-based decision support, policy analysis, integrated assessment, risk assessment, uncertainty management.

Official citation:

Integrated Assessment
2003, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 5-17