A Principled Basis for Decision: Enduring Operational Research (OR) subjects and principles for Quality Assured Analytics


In a world of change, some things don't. This paper proposes that efficiency, effectiveness, human interactions and behaviour remain perennial foci for many OR analytic models and that quality analytics depend on perennial principles of assurance. Professor Pat Rivett's three subjects for his 1964 BBC documentary about Operational Research: Cutting the Queue, Playing It Through and The Human Factor, are examples of analysis of efficiency, effectiveness and behavioural OR. These remained major subjects for OR in 2018 although the means to analyse them have evolved. Confidence in analysis is the other perennial aspect. The presentation describes the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) approach to model assurance. Analytical tools for Big Data and Artificial Intelligence provide wider domains for OR. In that wider domain clarity of purpose and assurance of quality will remain essential enablers for a principled basis for decision.


Ian M Mitchell FORS

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