On Complaints About Applying Models Effectively

Orchard-Hays, W. (1978). On Complaints About Applying Models Effectively. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-78-032

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There is a growing dissatisfaction in many quarters with the use of mathematical modeling, and skepticism about its effectiveness, particularly with large-scale models. In the past two to three months alone, this has been brought to my attention in at least six instances, some forcefully.

I believe this is an extremely serious matter. Despite impressive prestige and far-ranging efforts in an almost unbelievable number of places, systems analysis is never its own sponsor. During the past quarter century, an impressive array of theories, techniques, methods and know-how has been created and effective use of this technology is now sorely needed in meeting extremely serious problems. However, no funded activity can long survive and prosper if it is not perceived as contributing something meaningful to society. In short, our time has come but we had better be able to deliver because, otherwise, we are merely an expensive frill.

Admittedly, the effectiveness of modeling is not entirely in the hands of technical specialists an issue to which IIASA is devoting much attention. However, it is useful to be aware of how our efforts are viewed by others who do sponsor projects in the field and some of the misgivings and complaints which they express.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: System and Decision Sciences - Core (SDS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:44
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:08
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/879

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