Dealing with epistemic uncertainty in the SST framework

V. Katos, Peter Bednar, Christine Welch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Epistemic uncertainty has been suggested to be fundamental to human experience. The authors of this paper believe that people need to exercise creativity in their conjectures, drawing upon knowledge and experience, in order to generate solutions to both instrumental and epistemic problems, and encourage higher orders of learning. Innovative methodologies are needed which can provide support for individuals in developing both problem spaces and potential solutions. An intrinsic property of human analytical reasoning is that it can allow evidence that may be of a contradictory nature to be considered, within the same problem frame, as a valid part of a resolution. However, many tools and methods designed to support human beings in their decision-making processes are based upon logic which cannot deal with conflicting evidence, e.g. traditional computer software or statistical techniques. This paper explores a special case of the Strategic Systemic Thinking framework as an approach for analysing contextual dependencies, and formulating problem spaces, by employing Dempster and Shafer's mathematical Theory of Evidence (DST). Through DST classical probability is extended so that events can be described at a higher level of abstraction, without a requirement to prove assumptions. However, in our suggested application, this feature which may sometimes be perceived as a weakness
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreativity and innovation in decision making and decision support. Vol. 2.
EditorsF. Adam, P. Brezillon, S. Carlsson, P. Humphreys
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherLudic Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781905800018
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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