Jan H. Kwakkel, Warren E. Walker, and Marjolijn Haasnoot (2016). “Coping with the Wickedness of Public Policy Problems: Approaches for Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty”, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 142(3), http://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000626
In many planning problems, planners face major challenges in coping with uncertain and changing physical conditions, and rapid unpredictable socioeconomic development. How should society prepare itself for this confluence of uncertainty? Given the presence of irreducible uncertainties, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Effective decisions must be made under unavoidable uncertainty (Dessai et al. 2009; Lempert et al. 2003). In recent years, this has been labeled as decision making under deep uncer- tainty. Deep uncertainty means that the various parties to a decision do not know or cannot agree on the system and its boundaries; the outcomes of interest and their relative importance; the prior prob- ability distribution for uncertain inputs to the system (Lempert et al. 2003; Walker et al. 2013); or decisions are made over time in dy- namic interaction with the system and cannot be considered inde- pendently (Haasnoot et al. 2013a, b; Hallegatte et al. 2012). From a decision analytic point of view, this implies that there are a large number of plausible alternative models, alternative sets of weights to assign to the different outcomes of interest, different sets of in- puts for the uncertain model parameters, and different (sequences of) candidate solutions (Kwakkel et al. 2010).