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2009-06-09 Decision structure continuum

posted Jun 8, 2009, 3:23 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 11, 2009, 12:14 AM by Eddie Woo ]
For further details, refer to IPT: The Structure Continuum
  Structured  Unstructured
Inputs & Issues  Inputs are comprehensively defined in detail - e.g. the maths question 'a circle with centre on (0, 0) has a radius of 1 unit. Find its equation'. Inputs are vague, constantly changing, or undefined - e.g. 'how many sandwiches did Tony eat this morning?'
Outcomes Outcomes are accurately predictable, e.g. 'blood alcohol level to be exactly 0.2% BAC' Outcomes are unpredictable, e.g. 'how many people in this room have never rock climbing before?'
Result Comparison Results can be easily compared and scored in specific, weighted criteria e.g. two alternative petrol stations with different numerical prices for petrol per litre with different quality (but where the end user is more concerned about price - i.e. weighted, prioritisted criteria) Results are difficult or impossible to compare e.g. two alternative petrol stations, one with excellent, expensive petrol and one with low-quality, cheap petrol, and where the end user has no idea whether price or quality is a more important consideration
Relation to DSS Decision can be 'programmed' with a program that follows rules and uses quantitative methods (measurable in numbers / on a scale - even quality with 'star' systems) and heuristics (rules of thumb that always seem to work) Decisions defy programming - they are highly subjective, require intuition, or change based on personal preference
The question that I was not supposed to do (examples from part 4) Different artworks are presented by an online store, each with an estimated star rating based on a personal preference profile that has been developed based on previous choices; more popular (by number of sales) artworks are automatically higher rated with the assumption that they are better according to the wisdom of the crowd (heuristics) A decision support system that attempts to categorise different books by the quality of the standard of writing used in them, which is highly subjective even among professionals and would require intuition and depend on personal preference