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Making Hard Decisions: An Introduction to Decision Analysis, 2nd ed.

by Robert T. Clemen, 1966, Duxbury Press, Boston, 664 p. $47.75

Previous edition; Making Hard Decisions: An Introduction to Decision Analysis by Robert T. Clemen, 1991, PWS-Kent Publishing Company, Boston.

I finally finished this excellent textbook (1st edition) "for advanced undergraduate and Master's degree students." It is one of the best available books about decision analysis.

Clemen uses lots of examples, many taken from recent news events. This keeps the discussion interesting.

Influence diagrams are well covered, for an introductory text.

The last three real chapters are about multi-criteria decision making -- a difficult subject at best. He does a good job, although I personally have little regard for the approach. I prefer to "price-out" non-monetary attributes in monetary-equivalents.

This book is moderate on mathematics and theory. Although basic probability and statistics are discussed, the reader will benefit from a prior knowledge in these areas. I would have preferred greater emphasis to value of information problems.

Although the book is already five years old, almost all of the software described is still available. The concepts, of course, remain true today.

If you can't take my courses, and even if you do, I recommend that you read this book.

-- John Schuyler, rev. 27-Aug-96