By Charles Jordan
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Extra resources for Calculus of Finite Differences
Ifthe organization needs a conservative risk policy, we use a EU decision rule instead (described briefly in this chapter and in more detail in Chapter 4): Choose the alternative having the greatest expected (value) utility. For day-today decisions, these rules are equivalent. The rest of this book, except Chapter 4, applies the EMV decision rule. Crane Size Decision The problem-solving approach in this example is typical, and illustrates use of the EMV decision rule. In this example, the decision is what Sue Crane to order for a specific task.
We will solve this using two different presentation and calculation methods: a payoff table and a decision tree. The project manager is planning Activity 15, which requires use of a crane. 1 shows the crane-sue alternatives and possible outcomes, valued in activity Completion Days. A Medium Crane and a Large Crane are available by rental. The medium-sized crane is adequate in performing Activity 15. A large crane, however, would accomplish the activity faster. The decision pending is: Which Size Crane is the best alternative?
Chapter 3--Decision Policy Attitude toward Risk You may skip this section i f you are comfortable with measuring value as money, and if you are unemotional about the money amounts. Risk attitude, or risk preference, is a fascinating aspect of decision analysis. Unaided intuition, for most people, leads us to make inconsistent tradeoffs between value and risk. That is, most people, unknowingly, make choices that are inconsistent with their long-term objectives. We do better in project evaluations, decisions, and negotiations by understanding the concept of risk preference.