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Exploratory Modelling, a Model-based Scenario Approach

  • Jan Kwakkel - TU Delft
Monday 24 October 2016

About the lecture

Decision-making and planning on climate mitigation and adaptation is a long-term problem with a typical time horizon of 20 years or beyond. Long-term planning and decision-making are rife with uncertainty. Many aspects of the future, relevant to our choices right now, are unknowable at present. Our skill in long-term forecasting is very limited. Moreover, in long-term planning and decision making multiple stakeholders and decision makers are involved. They often disagree on the outcomes of interest, how the system they are acting on works, the aspects of the future that are relevant to decision-making, and what these might look like. In short, long-term planning and decision making is subject to deep uncertainty. Still, there is wealth of information available that could be used to inform decisions even if we cannot accurately predict the future. The challenge is to find ways of using this information. Exploratory modeling is a way of developing and using mathematical models to do so. Exploratory modeling relies on generating thousands of what-if scenarios that systematically explore the impact of both the available information as well as possible resolutions of the various uncertainties. Through subsequent analysis of the resulting ensemble of scenarios, the consequences for decision-making can be mapped out. It can be revealed which uncertainties primarily affect choice, which uncertainties are not so relevant, and what the consequences of different options are over the ensemble of scenarios. Exploratory modeling is increasingly being used to support climate adaptation and mitigation planning. In his talk, Jan Kwakkel will present several examples of how exploratory modeling can be used to test and improve climate policies.

About the spreaker

Jan Kwakkel is an associate professor. His research interest is model-based decision support for decision making under deep uncertainty. He is the lead developer of an open source workbench for exploratory modeling, scenario discovery, and multi-objective robust optimization.  His research focuses on the developing innovative model-based techniques for the design of dynamic adaptive policy pathways. Next to his research on decision making under deep uncertainty, Dr. Kwakkel also has an interested in text mining with a focus on analyzing scientific publications and patents.

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About the seminars:

Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar Series

The Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. dr. M.O. Hosli (coordinator)

Dr. J.J. Kantorowicz


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