Imperfect Information: The Decision Analysis Blog

An Introduction to DPL Fault Tree

Syncopation Software has long been known for their Decision Tree-based software tools but did you know that we also develop and support software for building and analyzing Fault Trees? I'd like to introduce DPL Fault Tree, a tool that allows users to intuitively build graphical models of large-scale systems in order to understand and analyze the risks within the system and how they relate to one another. This robust risk assessment can help guide risk mitigating actions.

DPL 9.00.18 update is available

The DPL update 9.00.18 is now available for download.

This update includes the following fixes/changes/enhancements:
BUG: Update install may require reboot when DPL is started by opening a workspace file (#2669)
BUG: Series modules in embedded fault trees may not be generated (#2670)
BUG: Find function doesn't work for embedded fault tree modules (#2662)

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DPL 9.00.15 update is available

The DPL update 9.00.15 is now available for download. This is the first generally available (i.e., non-beta) version of DPL 9 Fault Tree. While most of the changes relate to fault tree features and documentation, we also encourage DPL Professional, Enterprise and Portfolio users to apply the update.

This update includes the following fixes/changes/enhancements:
ENH: Accommodate long names better in cutset viewer

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A DPL Fault Tree Analysis of GDPR Risk

Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm confident that you've heard about the European Union's new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that go into effect on May 25, 2018. Over the last month you've likely been barraged by dozens of "Privacy Policy Update" emails as companies scurry to come into compliance with these expansive new regulations.

Risk/Reward Bubble Charts - More than just a Pretty Output

Risk/Reward Bubble Chart in DPMX

When it comes to project and portfolio management analytic outputs, bubble charts are by far the most charming. Colorful and playful, they are reminiscent of a jar of gumballs. But they're really more than just an pretty chart to throw in your PowerPoint or dashboard for a splash of color. When it's critical to find the mix of projects that will add the most value to your R&D portfolio its imperative you have a strong grasp on the risk/reward balance -- which is just what this chart type can provide.

Lights, Camera, Action! Watch Syncopation's DPL, DPMX, and Decision Analysis Video Tutorials

We've always championed a "model in DPL as you learn" approach within our software documentation, resources, and training courses. A couple of years ago Syncopation took this to another level by creating our own YouTube channel so we could offer tutorial-style, screencast videos (narrated, recorded, and edited by your's truly) for those who prefer this mode of learning over traditional paper/PDF user guides. We've built up quite a collection -- so if you haven't checked Syncopation's YouTube channel, I'd encourage you to do so.

Calling All Big DPL Fans: See us in Houston at INFORMS Annual Meeting!

No really... we've got an excess of stylish, FREE size XL DPL shirts to give away. (Sorry, all the smalls, mediums and larges are long gone.) But seriously, DPL fans big, small, and in between should stop by Booth #13 at INFORMS Annual Meeting in Houston early next week:

http://meetings2.informs.org/wordpress/houston2017/

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Moving from Analyzing Datasets to Decisions in DPL

We've discussed "Big Data" within our Imperfect Information blog in the past -- with a moderately critical tone. (See Big Data and DA) When it comes to Big Data us DA folks think far too much emphasis is put on the past and how many terabytes one can unearth and not the value (or lack thereof) that the wodges of data can bring to your decisions. So allow me to expound the fact that data (or information) only has value if it will affect your future actions and decisions!

Syncopation Announces the Release of DPL 9

Syncopation Software is pleased to announce the general availability of DPL Release 9. This release serves to underscore Syncopation's commitment to providing users with best-in-class decision analytic tools that improve performance, enhance interoperability, and give you insights that lead to better decision quality. Whether you choose the Professional, Enterprise or Portfolio version, we're confident you'll find DPL 9 the best decision analysis software tool you've ever used.

The March of Excel Progress

The vast majority of DPL users are also heavy Excel users, and they sometimes ask us about the pros and cons of the various Excel versions. Oftentimes they have no choice in the matter -- the corporate IT department is rolling out a new version of Office, and they just need to know what they're in for. DPL has been closely integrated with Excel from the earliest days, so we definitely have an opinion. This post summarizes the highs and lows of recent Excel history, from the perspective of power users doing analytical work.

DPL 9 New Feature: Perform and Continue

I'm going to use a light-hearted example to introduce a simple but powerful new feature in DPL 9: Perform and Continue. If you've used DPL, you probably know about the perform feature, a way of creating "perform links" which reduce the redundancy in a decision tree. Often when building an asymmetric tree there are sections which are repeated -- some groups of nodes are the same on different paths.

Consider the personal decision problem of what to drink. Beer and wine are both enjoyable, but they involve certain risks.

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12 Days of DPL 9 Features

You know the traditional holiday tune where one delivers increasingly grander gifts to his/her companion over the span of 12 days. I believe it draws a parallel to how one will feel upon starting up our forthcoming release DPL 9 -- licenses for which are now available for pre-release purchase at a 25% discount! It's the software tool that keeps giving when it comes to decision analytics, performance, interoperability and polish. So I give you Syncopation's interpretation of this holiday classic.

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A New Feature that makes Sequential Drilling Decisions Easy

A common and challenging decision problem in the oil & gas industry is to decide how to explore an oil field. Typically there is a cluster of prospects, giving rise to a highly dependent set of uncertainties, according to their proximity and the geology of the area. For example, if you drill a well at one site and strike oil, it's more likely that a nearby prospect will also have oil. If you drill a few "dry holes", you'll probably give up on the field rather than throw good money after bad drilling the other prospects. This makes intuitive sense, but until recently it was tough to model in a decision tree.

DPMX: Answering the Where, How Much, and How To of Resource Allocation

"…the problem with resource allocation isn’t ignorance of its importance—83 percent of executives we polled named it as the most critical management lever for spurring growth." - McKinsey (Where, how much, and how: Answering the hardest questions of resource allocation)

And yet, McKinsey and Company go on to point out that a third of organizations included in a survey reallocate just 1% of capital from year to year. Whether you're talking about money, talent, or time these precious, finite resources tend to be handled by management teams with far too much safeguarding and rigidity -- leaving them in the dust of those who pursue a more deliberately dynamic resource allocation strategy.

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