The Mercy Rule: When do you end a decision analysis early?

In some sports leagues, particularly those with youth competitors, there is a Mercy Rule by which a game is ended early if one team has built up an insurmountable lead. For example, in little league baseball the rule may be to end the game if one team is ahead 10 runs after 4 or more innings. While the team that's behind may theoretically have a chance, it's much more likely that grinding out the rest of the game would only humiliate the losing team and result in everyone getting home late on a school night.


Decision Engineering: Keeping the Decision Factory Humming

The subject of Decision Engineering has been gathering increasing attention, most recently with this article in IEEE Roundup.

Decision {insert any noun in the English language} ...

Among some of my decision, uh, interested friends and colleagues, there's a certain skepticism about new terms that start with the word "decision".

What is the decision? Or, common disorders of the decision pyramid

A recent post by Steve Barrager on LinkedIn got me thinking about decisions, and in particular, the framing choices that lead to the identification of the focus decisions an analytical project will consider.

In many cases, the main decision is pretty obvious. Should we fund this R&D project? What should we bid for this lease?

5 Ways to Screw Up a Decision Analysis Project

(Or, how about just a little bit of process to go with that gorgeous decision tree?)

Personally, I've always loved a beautiful model, whether it's based on decision trees, Monte Carlo, dynamic programming, or any other quantitative method. I've made a few beautiful models myself, and have admired many more created by colleagues and DPL users. However, fairly early on in my career I began to notice that the correlation between the beauty of a model and the success of a project (as measured on the armchair decision quality index) was quite small.

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