The George Boole Foundation
The Decision Analysis Initiative



SEEL

SEEL-Systems Engineering Economics Lab was founded in 1983 as an applied R&D facility concerned with the development of applications of digital systems and, in particular, advances in online appllications.

Results of SEEL research gave rise to the formation of Navatec (online services) and an advanced online applications client platform, Navatec Voyager, using SEEL's Virtual Client Technology.

Based upon associate work initiated in 1976, Structural Production Functions have been advanced, since 2000 in collaboration with Navatec, as part of the development of applications-specific server end logic scripts integrating DScript1 and JavaScript2.

In 2005 SEEL opened a new front of investigation into constitutional economics concerned with the identification of decision analysis techniques appropriate for the incorporation of multiple constituency preferences and the identification of coherent macroeconomic policy options.

SEEL is the world centre for the development of Locational State Theory and its applications.

Leading edge

Decision analysis techniques are advancing as they address more complex issues involving increasing numbers of determinants and as new problems arise in different applications domains. A vital aspect of supporting such innovation is investment in applied research into the development of improved methods. We are advancing developments in two significant areas:
  • the development of methodologies for analysing information and theories of knowledge structures
  • the development of analytical methods concerning decision-maker and constituency interests
Analysing information and theories of knowledge structures

We have remained at the forefront of applied research and development into decision analysis techniques.

Note: This is a representation of the very first locational-state concept in 1985 and where Dt indicates determinants in the time domain. The coordinate set has extended since that time from 8 to a very large number according to the decision analysis regime and domain of application. The first practical application was the whole enterprise strategic planning system Seeel-Telesis whose initial phase was completed in 1990.
Currently our work represents a continuation of ongoing investigations into improved methods of describing knowledge and relationships and in particular determinant analysis, data, information & knowledge systems (DIKS).

Locational-state theory & its applications

This work has advanced so as to contribute to the formulation of a comprehensive system for describing data sets and relationships by applying locational-state theory (LST) and the development of LST applications in the form of locational-state analysis (LSA) as part of a general locational-state method (LSM).

A locational-state file standard

Work is progressing on the development of a standard format for "locational-state files" (*.lsf) which will be supported by a range of server-end scripts designed to manage and audit data, provide appropriate data analysis functions and the standard *.lsf will possess extremely high levels of security through data transformation combined with encryption. We have developed, in collaboration with Navatec, a data transmission format that has been demonstrated to be 30+ arial faster that conventional formats including XML. We are also involved in assisting in bench testing the high speed unstructured Plasma Data Base, developed by SEEL and Navatec, founded entirely on LST principles (see Plasma Data Base). The speed of development of this LST frontier has outdated our original standardization aims and we are redefining these under the auspices of the George Boole Foundation so that they reflect the current state of the art technology capabilities.

Analysis of decision-maker and constituency interests

Decision analysis models are made up of relevant relationships (knowledge) between determinants and outputs. In addition to this knowledge base it is also necessary to code decision-maker preferences into the decision analysis model.
Decision-makers preferences can be made up of those of a single decision-maker taking decisions in his interest or on behalf of constituents. Constituents, depending upon the specific circumstances, can be the resource providers to fund decision implementations as well as being those affected by decision outcomes. The mix of responsibilites and interests which will specify the preferences a decision-maker or decision-makers have to code into a decision analysis model can take up many different configurations.

There are three broad classes of configuration considered to be decision-maker consituent functions (DMCf) as illustrated in the diagram on the right.

These range from an autonomous DMCf where an individual takes decisions concerning his own affairs with all others remaining unaffected to factional DMCfs where different sized groups of decision makers (boards, committees, government) take decisions on belhalf of constituents to participatory DMCfs where the constuency is involved in all decision making.

Factional and participatory DMCfs are associated with an increasing complexity of decision analysis models. In particular, models needing to satisfy the preferences of increasing sizes of constituencies are known as deference models and these in turn require a careful management of the descriptions and the forms of communication used in the development of decision analysis models involving:
  • semantics
  • prior approximation
  • conflict avoidance
Find out more

Recent notes, briefs and publciations on our work in these areas are appearing in online media. For example a good article on the use of decision analysis in participatory democratic processes is to be found in Constitutional Economics under the Minority Principle.


1 A server-end script compliant with the JavaScript standard developed by Rob Suggs of Vanguard Systems Corp.
1 The ECMA and ISO standard for internet applications, also known as ECMAScript.