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Human Intuition, Decision Analysis, and the Value of Information

June 19, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

By Dr. Max Henrion, Founder & CEO, Lumina Decision Systems


6:30 Doors Open, Food & Networking
7:00 Presentation
Live Streaming on this link:

*** Please arrive by 7 PM due to Security ***
*** Bring PHOTO ID (passport, driver license, etc.) ***


Our intuitive decisions are subject to all kinds of biases and fallacies
according to extensive research in the psychology of judgment. Decision
analysis provides practical tools to help bring greater rationality to
important decisions. Decision analysis has long been intertwined with
computer science. John von Neumann, famous for the “von Neumann
architecture” of the modern digital computer, also (with Oscar Morgenstern) developed expected utility theory, the logical foundation of decision analysis. After early battles about the representation of uncertainty in AI and expert systems, Bayesian probability networks and decision analysis methods are now in widespread use. I’ll give examples to illustrate how and why this has happened. A key contribution of decision analysis is the *expected value of information* (EVI), which can be a powerful guide for our decisions on collecting and analyzing data. But EVI is often misunderstood — it works in the context of an explicit decision analysis, with identified decisions, objectives (utility) and uncertainties represented as probabilities.

Speaker Bio
Dr. Max Henrion, 2018 Frank Ramsey Medalist, has 25 years of experience as a researcher, educator, software designer, consultant, and entrepreneur, specializing in the design and effective use of decision technologies. He is the Founder and CEO of Lumina Decision Systems. He has led teams to create decision-support tools in a wide variety of applications, including energy, environment, R&D management, healthcare, telecommunications, aerospace, security, and consumer choice. He is the lead designer of Lumina’s flagship product line, Analytica -— the software about which PC Week said “Everything that’s wrong with the common spreadsheet is fixed in Analytica”.

The Decision Analysis Society has awarded the 2018 Frank Ramsey Medal to Max Henrion, CEO of Lumina and originator of Analytica. The medal is the society’s highest award. It recognizes distinguished contributions to decision analysis, including decision theory, methods, applications, education, and public awareness. Frank P. Ramsey, for whom the medal is named, was a Cambridge mathematician and pioneer in decision theory. His 1926 essay “Truth and Probability” anticipated later contributions by John von Neuman, Oscar Morgenstern, Leonard J. Savage, and other luminaries of the field. Previous recipients of the medal include Professors Ronald Howard, Howard Raiffa, Amos Tversky, and Daniel Kahneman (who also won the Nobel Prize in Economics).

The Decision Analysis Society cites Dr. Henrion’s contributions to the theory and practice of decision analysis, integration of decision analysis and artificial intelligence, and energy and environmental policy decision making.

Max has an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, Master of Design from the Royal College of Art, London, and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon.


June 19, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


SF Bay ACM Chapter
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