Friday, August 10, 2012

On what you need vs. what you can consume

In a recent review on our uncertainty project,  the major question that came up was -- will user be able to consume uncertain data, or uncertain decision making?   The question of consumability is a major question -- and it seems that in some cases consumability is considered as a barrier of introducing new technologies.   This is true for all technologies based on statistical reasoning that have the reputation that in order to use them  one has to be PhD in statistical reasoning...   Consumability comes in all levels --- there are products that come with hundreds of configurable parameters to control its performance, some famous expert systems have been conceived to configure these parameters, as the quantity of humans who can successfully do it is too small,  Consumability comes to application developers that use languages and tools.  in many cases the amount of language commands that are not used is high, on the other hand, the developer is working hard to achieve the desired functionality, since it is not supported in a simple way.  Then of course consumability of any product to consumers.  Today we have very sophisticated washers and dryers with many programs, which totally not understood by the consumer,  or just look at a remote control for any home appliance -- TV, Air-condition and more -- do we really know what are all these buttons for?   
Back to uncertainty --- it is quite clear that the world is uncertain, and ignoring uncertainty in decision making  may yield undesirable results.  It is also clear that in the daily life we often make decisions under uncertainty,  the main problem is how to move this intuition to a computerized form in a way that people will be able to utilize.   The major questions are:  
  • how uncertainty quantification (such as probability) are obtained?
  • how uncertain results are consumed in decisions?
  • how quality of uncertain decisions are evaluated and taken into account?

I'll write more about it soon - in general, consumability issue in event processing application design and construction will occupy much of my agenda in the near future.  More - later. 

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