Invited speakers

ICDSST 2021 Keynote Speakers:

Professor Dong-Ling Xu: “Evidential Reasoning Rule for Evidence Based Decision Making, Probabilistic Inference and Explainable Machine Learning”

Dong-Ling XuIn this talk, the Evidential Reasoning (ER) rule will be introduced and how it extends Bayes rule will be explained. The ER rule extends both Bayes rule so that it can be used for probabilistic inference with imperfect data and in situations where prior probabilities are impossible or difficult to estimate. It has been applied to model and analyse complex decision making problems and to develop explainable machine learning (ML) tools to model relationships between feature variables and labels. A number of such case studies will be presented in different areas including healthcare, engineering and legal service. Compared with other ML tools such as artificial neural networks (ANNs), these cases will demonstrate that the explainable ML models driven by the ER Rule can be constructed and trained by data. judgements or both, with or without ambiguity, can achieve similar prediction accuracy to what ANNs can do, and are transparent so that users can check why they work, whether they can be trusted and how they can be extrapolated. It will also be shown that by using the ER rule the effect of different types of uncertainty, such as randomness, ambiguity and inaccuracy, can be explicitly modelled and analysed in a unified format and information in imperfect data can be utilised for evidence-based decision making.

Dr Dong-Ling Xu is Professor of Decision Science and Systems at Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, UK. Over the past 30 years, she has been conducting research in data analysis, statistical inference, machine learning and decision support systems under uncertainty; system and process modelling; statistical fault detection, system development and their applications in a wide range of areas. She has developed several interactive web-based decision support systems and co-developed a Windows-based software package called Intelligent Decision System (IDS) via Evidential Reasoning for general purpose multiple criteria decision analysis, and several statistical fault detection systems. Those systems are used in a wide range of decision making and risk assessment activities by organizations such as General Motors, Tesco, NHS, Ford, Shell, BP and CNOOC in areas such as healthcare and finance; modelling and analysis of system safety and security; and organisational self-assessment in quality management. The Evidential Reasoning approach and the IDS software is used by practitioners and researchers from over 50 countries. She has published over 100 peer reviewed journal papers, book chapters and books.

Professor Peter Kawalek: “Cheap: Decision-Making, Winning and Losing In An Era of Low Transaction Costs”

Professor Peter Kawalek, School of Business and Economics.

One of the best understood effects of digital technology is that information processing becomes cheaper. What happens next? Here I present qualitative evidence from police detectives, academics, industry executives and decision-makers, of an overwhelming world of splintered attention, contested decisions and constant accountability for a never-ending brief. Drawing from Herbert Simon and other classical information theorists I show that the informational experiences of our world today were foreseen a very long time ago. Through this we can invoke theories of the Attention Economy and question how we academics can extend this theory-base. We look also at how aspects of digitization such as robotics and industry 4.0 might extend some of the problems we have seen in the informational world, and speculate a little on the downside of cheap communication and technology. Throughout, we will be drawing on the experiences of professionals today as they reflect on how a commoditization of information begets a commoditization of attention and their lives beyond.

Dr Peter Kawalek is Professor of Information Management and Director of the Centre for Information Management, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, UK. He has additional visiting positions at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Donegal and Deusto Business School, Bilbao. Previously of Manchester Business School, Instituto de Empresa, Warwick Business School and School of Computer Science at Manchester, he also has wide experience working with organizations including Siemens AG., SAP, IBM, Office an Taoiseach (Prime Minister) in Dublin, the Department of Communities and Local Government (London), Leeds City Council, Salford City Council, Lancashire Constabulary, Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City FC., New York City FC. Peter has held and managed over £2m in research grants from government and research councils.

Professor Sir David Omand GCB: “How Spies Think”

David OmandIn this talk the outputs of intelligence analysis will be examined from the perspective of the user of intelligence in terms of the categories Situational Awareness, Explanation, Estimation and Strategic notice. This SEES model will be used to identify the common cognitive biases of analysts together with suggested ways of identifying such errors. A contrast is drawn between the situations where there is sufficient path dependency to use Bayesian inference to move via explanation from data about a situation to estimation and modelling of how events may unfold and the strategic notice which may be obtained by working backwards from possible future states of risk to identify preventative and precautionary measures against such risks crystallising. A comparison is made with the classic distinction in intelligence studies between secrets and mysteries. The lessons for systems of warning will be identified. The availability of impartial professional SEES advice is seen as an essential complement to the necessary values and goal driven outlook of the final decision taker.

Professor Sir David Omand GCB is Visiting Professor in War Studies, King’s College London, PSIA Sciences Po in Paris and the Norwegian Defence University in Oslo where he teaches intelligence studies. Previously his posts in British government service included UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator in the Cabinet Office, Permanent Secretary of the Home Office, Director GCHQ, and Deputy Under-Secretary of State for Policy in MOD. He served for 7 years on the Joint Intelligence Committee (the JIC). He is the author of Securing the State (Hurst, 2010) and co-author with Professor Mark Phythian of Principled Spying: the Ethics of Secret Intelligence (OUP, 2018). His latest book is How Spies Think: 10 Lessons from Intelligence (Penguin Viking, 2020).

Check the Call for Papers for ICDSST 2021 HERE!