DIMACS 2010 - 2013 Special Focus on Algorithmic Decision Theory: Overview

Today's decision makers in fields ranging from engineering to medicine to homeland security have available to them remarkable new technologies, huge amounts of information, and the ability to share information at unprecedented speeds and quantities. These tools and resources will enable better decisions if we can surmount concomitant challenges:

When faced with such issues, decision makers have few highly efficient algorithms available to support decisions. There is a long tradition of algorithmic methods in logistics and planning, but algorithms to automate, speed up and improve real-time decision making are much less common. Algorithms for decision support, especially algorithms that can approximate good analytic solutions, are needed. Our objective is to improve the performance of decision makers (human or automated) in the face of these new opportunities and challenges by exploiting algorithmic methods.

The goal of the Special Focus on Algorithmic Decision Theory and of the field of Algorithmic Decision Theory is to explore and develop algorithmic approaches to decision problems arising in a variety of application areas as motivated by the above issues.Resolving such issues requires new initiatives to engage computer scientists with decision theorists, statisticians with economists, mathematicians with behavioral scientists, and operations researchers with people knowledgeable in applied areas ranging from ecology to public health. The Special Focus on Algorithmic Decision Theory (SF-ADT) aims to stimulate such engagement. The special focus will feature a series of workshops held over a period of three years, aimed at bringing the challenges, problems, concepts, and methods of Algorithmic Decision Theory (ADT) to a large, interdisciplinary audience. There will also be several research working groups meeting several times to pursue interdisciplinary research areas. Some SF-ADT Workshops (WSs) and Working Groups (WGs) will be on foundational topics: risk-averse adversarial decision making, risk measures and incorporating them into ADT, the science of expert opinion, evidence-based policy making, and recommender systems. Other WSs and WGs will cover applied topics: electric power systems (``smart grid''), health care, epidemiology, ecology, port security, and urban policy making (``smart cities''). Ideas from foundational meetings will carry over to the applied ones and the applied ones will provide motivation for foundational discussions.

Opportunities to Participate: The Special Focus will include:

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Document last modified on February 16, 2010.