Accession Number ADA562557
Title Lessons from RAND's Work on Planning Under Uncertainty for National Security.
Publication Date 2012
Media Count 8p
Personal Author P. K. Davis
Abstract RAND's progress in dealing with uncertainty analysis for national security has benefited from a confluence of developments in four domains. Most familiar perhaps is technology: modern computers and software allow analysis that would have been inconceivable in the early days of systems and policy analysis, such as examining a vast possibility space when considering options for the way ahead. Technology, however, is only an enabler. Developments in understanding strategic planning and decisionmaking, and in analytic theory and methods, also have been fundamental. These, in turn, have been influenced by insights from the theory of complex adaptive systems, which recognizes that behaviors of such systems can be inherently difficult or impossible to predict with confidence. Nonetheless, the behaviors can often be analyzed, anticipated, nudged, and occasionally even controlled. Much of the paper focuses on 'deep' uncertainties, that is, important uncertainties that cannot be adequately addressed by normal versions of sensitivity analysis or probabilistic analysis. RAND's work has emphasized the following: facing up to deep uncertainty in many dimensions; performing exploratory analysis of the possibility space (also called scenario space); identifying regions of that space that pose special risks or opportunities; finding options to improve capabilities; and using portfolio analysis to conceive and compare strategic options for dealing with the diversity of challenges in an economically acceptable manner. A cross-cutting theme (the 'FARness principle') is that strategies should provide the following: future flexibility for taking on different missions or objectives, adaptiveness to deal with unanticipated circumstances, and robustness to shocks such as unanticipated adverse advents. RAND authors often use 'planning for adaptiveness' or 'robust decisionmaking' (with a different meaning of 'robust') to cover all elements of FARness.
Keywords Adaptability
Adaptive systems
Analytic methods
Analytic theory
Computation science
Computer applications
Computer science
Computer technology
Decision making
Interagency coordination
National security
Policy making
Portfolio analysis
Possibility space
Scenario space
Software technology
Strategic planning
Theory of complex adaptive systems
Uncertainty analysis
United states government

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 70B - Management Practice
92 - Behavior & Society
92B - Psychology
57T - Psychiatry
Corporate Author Rand National Defense Research Inst., Santa Monica, CA.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note Technical rept.
NTIS Issue Number 1225
Contract Number N/A

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