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Dealing with epistemic uncertainty in the SST framework

  • Frederic Adam
  • Patrick Brezillon
  • Sven Carlsson
  • Patrick Humphreys
Publiceringsår: 2006
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 886-903
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Creativity and Innovation in Decision-making and Decision Support
Volym: 2
Dokumenttyp: Del av eller Kapitel i bok
Förlag: Decision Support Press


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 becomes a strength. The paper introduces both the SST framework and the principles of DST, and uses an example to show how they can be combined into a potentially useful methodology.


  • Information Systems, Social aspects
  • Contextual Analysis
  • SST framework
  • Dempster-Shafer Theory of Evidence
  • Strategic Systemic Thinking
  • epistemic uncertainty
  • Contextual Inquiry


  • ISBN: 978-1-905800-01-8

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