Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Soft intelligence for hard decisions: Soft metrics improve homeland security and other critical decisions

Date:
February 8, 2010
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
An approach to decision making based on soft metrics could allow problems to be solved where no definitive "yes-no" answer is possible in fields as diverse as health care, defense, economics, engineering, public utilities and science.

An approach to decision making based on soft metrics could allow problems to be solved where no definitive "yes-no" answer is possible in fields as diverse as healthcare, defense, economics, engineering, public utilities and science. Writing in the International Journal of Intelligent Defence Support Systems Mihaela Quirk of Los Alamos National Laboratory explains how.

Progress in science and technology demands logical correctness, but problems with a definitive "yes" or "no" answer are rare. Decision makers are often faced with vast quantities of information, whether epidemiological statistics on the incidence of disease, data on failure tolerances in a fleet of passenger aircraft, or conflict decisions in the defense arena.

How can the need for logical rigor be reconciled in the face of such fuzzy information? The answer may lie in the burgeoning field of soft metrics in which shades of gray and judgments that adopt a "lesser of two evils" stance can be applied to provide a justifiable answer that is not necessarily yes or no.

"Modern decision making challenges the human capacity to reason in an environment of uncertainty, imprecision, and incompleteness of information," Quirk explains. Moreover, information and attention are in one sense inversely proportional -- the more information the less attention can be given to each "atom" of information.

Quirk explains that soft metrics are attributes of decision criteria that cannot be expressed numerically but nevertheless could be the core of a computational engine that is perception-based and can work with natural language rather than number crunching. For the intelligence community involved in national defense and strategy, a disproportionate number of the decisions being made represent a matter of life.

As such, the soft metrics approach could offer them a new approach to intelligence data analysis, risk assessment, conflict resolution and strategy building that circumvents the logical need for a yes-no answer.

Quirk cites the successful ranking of power substations in Washington DC so that protective resources can be allocated optimally as an example of how soft metrics might be used in decision analysis, ranking, and computing in NL. This ranking exercise addresses possible power outages and their mitigation, emergency responses, and homeland security issues.

The soft metrics approach takes non-numerical information and expert opinion and creates a set of inference rules of the type "If (...) then (...)," which can be programmed into a computer. The whole approach side-steps political and economic considerations in assessing the information in hand.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Quirk et al. Soft metrics: What are they and what use are they for the Intelligence Community? International Journal of Intelligent Defence Support Systems, 2009; 2 (4): 335 DOI: 10.1504/IJIDSS.2009.031416

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Soft intelligence for hard decisions: Soft metrics improve homeland security and other critical decisions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204101738.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2010, February 8). Soft intelligence for hard decisions: Soft metrics improve homeland security and other critical decisions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204101738.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Soft intelligence for hard decisions: Soft metrics improve homeland security and other critical decisions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100204101738.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Apple Releases 'Shellshock' Fix Despite Few Affected Users

Apple Releases 'Shellshock' Fix Despite Few Affected Users

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Apple released a security fix for the "Shellshock" vulnerability Monday, though it says only "advanced UNIX users" of OS X need it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Facebook Ad Platform Goes Where You Go On The Web

New Facebook Ad Platform Goes Where You Go On The Web

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Called Atlas, the platform allows advertisers to place ads based on Facebook info on sites outside of Facebook. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Tightens Requirements For Android Manufacturers

Google Tightens Requirements For Android Manufacturers

Newsy (Sep. 27, 2014) Phonemakers who want to use Google’s software in their devices will have to stick to more stringent requirements. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins