The George Boole Foundation
The Decision Analysis Initiative

Simulation-based decision analysis
technological innovation

Innovation occurs when a technology is applied in a location for the first time. A considerable amount of technological innovation contributing to major improvements in corporate performance arises from decisions to integrate proven state of the art components in a new way.

The feasibility of doing this often relies upon the ability to simulate the interaction of many different component options within a system. As a result of such a decision analysis procedure it is possible to identify the systems concepts which have the highest probability of acheving the desired objectives.

Simulation is a powerful analytical tool for decision-makers. Different probable outcomes can be generated dynamically according to different options for action. Simulation outcomes can be generated rapidly in a form of "what if?" evaluations providing likely practical outcomes of different decisions in graphic, tabular or even map formats.

Simulation is of particular utility in projecting time-based phenomena such as population growth and is used in epidemiology to predict the spread of disease and plant spores. Most decision analysis applications described on this site can be enhanced through a simulation functionality.

Simulation is of vital importance in testing decision analysis models to ensure that outcomes fall within reasonable orders of magnitude or detecting where a decision analysis model needs to be enhanced.

The Power & Economy of Simulation ...

Using a conventional keyboard and a thin client (a personal computer with Internet access only) a manager can simulate numerous "what if" scenarios in realtime in order to assess the sensitivity of outcomes ot a large range of assumptions. Not only can preferable outcomes be saved and reports produced, the exercise of simulation is educational and insightful, providing the operator with an environment where, within a relatively short time, it becomes apparent how vital decisions can be affected by different critical factors. All of this can be accomplished without any commitment of resources to a decision. Simulation can be a powerful tool in building up a knowledge base of how many different factors can interact to influence the outcomes of decision options.

The power of the keyboard....