Structuring tools and techniques, many of which stem from the
decision sciences, help to distinguish an SDM approach. These
tools provide discipline and decision-focus both to technical
analysis and to value-based deliberations. A small sample of them
are briefly described here.
Influence diagrams are a conceptual modeling tool that
graphically represents the causal relationships between
decisions, external factors, uncertainties and outcomes.
Eliciting Expert Judgments
There are well-established methods for eliciting judgments
from experts that minimize a range of psychological biases
A value tree, like an objectives hierarchy shows how higher
order objectives are linked to sub-objectives and eventually to
performance measures or attributes.
Bayesian networks describe the nature of the probabilistic
inter-dependence of factors (or 'nodes') in an influence
diagram. Conditional probabilities for complex belief networks
can be calculated by computer algorithms using Bayes Theorem.
Inference trees document explanatory factors used in making
an assessment of impact level, along with the supporting data
A strategy table is a convenient (and strategic) way of
creating a small number of logical, internally consistent and
informative alternatives when there are many possible ways to
mix and match actions.
A weighted index or a value model is scale that weights and
combines different kinds of impacts into a single metric for
Defined Level Scales
These reduce ambiguity in comparing the performance of
alternatives by defining and describing discrete levels of