Chapter 1

Introduction and Overview

1.1 Making decisions under uncertainty

This course is about uncertainty, measuring and quantifying uncertainty, and making decisions under uncertainty. Loosely speaking, by uncertainty we mean the condition when results, outcomes, the nearest and remote future are not completely determined; their development depends on a number of factors and just on a pure chance.

Simple examples of uncertainty appear when you buy a lottery ticket, turn a wheel of fortune, or toss a coin to make a choice.

Uncertainly appears in virtually all areas of Computer Science and Software Engineering. Installation of software requires uncertain time and often uncertain disk space. A newly released software contains an uncertain number ...

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