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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Professor Yakov Ben-Haim - Why More is Less: Info-Gap Explanation for Robust-Satisficing Behavior

12th July 2007, 16:00 to 17:30, CM221, Department of Mathematical Sciences

In this talk Professor Ben-Haim will discuss the questions: why, and when, and in what form, a satisficing strategy is a better bet for survival, than a strategy which uses the best available information in attempting to optimize the outcome. We discuss theorems asserting that, under severe uncertainty, a robust-satisficing decision has a better probability of survival than a best-model outcome-optimizing decision. These theorems are based on non-probabilistic info-gap decision theory, which provides a quantification of Knightian uncertainty. These theorems are applicable to Bayesian mixing of two models, allocation between a risky and a risk-free asset, foraging behavior, explaining Ellsberg’s paradox, satisfying multiple requirements, forecasting in dynamical systems, and managing exogenous uncertainties.

Professor Yakov Ben-Haim is known for his development of info-gap decision theory for modelling and managing severe uncertainty. Info-gap theory is applied in engineering, biological conservation, economics, project management, homeland security, medicine, and other areas. He has been a visiting scholar in Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, and
the US. He has lectured at universities, medical and technological research institutions and central banks around the world. He has published more than 70 articles and 4 books. He holds the Yitzhak Moda’i Chair in Technology and Economics at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.


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