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Computing Possible Futures$
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William B. Rouse

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198846420

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198846420.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Computing Possible Futures

William B. Rouse

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 provides the introduction to this book. Predictions can seldom specify what will happen, so, inevitably, one addresses what might happen. There are often many possible futures, with leading indicators and potential tipping points for each scenario. Computational models can be used to explore designs of systems and policies to determine whether these designs will likely be effective and to aid in decision-making. Models are means to ends rather then ends in themselves. Decision-makers seldom crave models. They want their questions answered in an evidence-based manner. Decision-makers want insights that provide them with a competitive advantage. They want to understand possible futures to formulate robust and resilient strategies for addressing these futures.

Keywords:   prediction, future, model, decision-making, competitive advantage, strategy

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