Seminar: Better Robustly Right than Probably Wrong

Tuesday March 10th, Erik Pruyt (TU Delft) will present "Better Robustly Right than Probably Wrong".

March 10, 2015
CPB-office, Van Stolkweg 14, The Hague

Time: 13.00-14.00 hours
Location: CPB-office, Van Stolkweg 14, The Hague

Presentation: Erik Pruyt (TU Delft)

Discussant: Joris de Wind (CPB)

Language: English

Registration: Please register by sending an email to

Abstract subject:
In this seminar, Erik Pruyt (Delft University of Technology) will introduce a model-based approach for dealing with complex issues that are characterized by deep uncertainty. Deep uncertainty refers to situations in which experts disagree on the formulation of ‘the’ underlying model, probabilities of inputs, and the valuation of outcomes. Instead of waiting for consensus to be reached or irrefutable scientific proof to be established, one could address such issues with approaches that enable one to simultaneously take alternative theories/models, sets of possible functions, different distributions, and distinct valuation frameworks into account. Exploratory Modelling and Analysis, aka Robust Decision Making, is such an approach: it allows for (i) simulating sets of alternative models across vast uncertainty spaces, (ii) exploring the resulting ensembles of outcomes using all sorts of machine learning techniques, and (iii) optimizing the robustness of potential adaptive policies that are designed to always work, especially when really needed. This approach will be illustrated with didactic as well as real-world examples from a variety of application/policy domains, ranging from economics, over national security, to demographic aging.

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