During the conference, we ran another in a series of tests based around the "Wisdom of Crowds", James Surowiecki's best-selling book. In it he contends that we put too much emphasis on expert opinion and if you solicit a group of individuals in an independent manner and collect data from their responses, you may be very pleasantly surprised by the results. This year's experiment saw an oddly shaped glass container standing at the corner of our booth filled with red, blue, green and yellow gumballs, as along with an unknown number of rubber squishy owls. Visitors were asked to guess the number of gumballs in the container. They were first asked for their P10 and P90 estimates. In other words, they should be 80% confident that the actual number of gumballs should fit between their range. That should be pretty easy to do, right?
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As many of you who have frequently attended the annual CPDEP forum know, every year we run a little contest to see how "awesome" you are at estimating the number of gumballs in an oddly shaped container. This year was no different than past conferences , though there may have been a few more "squeezie Owls" present, which could have been a distraction.
Categorized under:  TreeTopWisdom of Crowds

I was raised to believe in the virtues of Monte Carlo analysis techniques for all things probabilistic. I saw great utility with this approach and even wrote my own Monte Carlo simulator. I came late to Decision Tree analysis, and now have a much deeper appreciation for its merits, believing that each approach has its place. Over the next few newsletters, I intend to point out the strengths and weakness of both approaches, beginning, in this issue, with a quantitative comparison.

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