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Statistics and Probability Theory: In Pursuit of Engineering Decision Support

Author: Michael Havbro Faber

Publisher: Springer


Publish Date: March 26, 2012

ISBN-10: 9400740557

Pages: 280

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Decisions in general—good ones and bad ones—shape our world and direct our lives. The success of the world society at local and global scale depends on its ability to make the right decisions. Engineers in particular, play an important role for society as they are directly involved in establishing the basis for societal decision making.

The value of decisions is and will always be relative to the objectives as well as the assumed boundary conditions. From a theoretical perspective, if we know what we want and if we know how to get there, the task is straight forward. In reality, however, the situation is quite different, we might be able to agree on what we want but we are rarely sure on how to get there. The reason for this is simple but challenging, we do not exactly know what the consequences of different decision alternatives are because we do not completely understand the world we are living in. Our knowledge is limited and imprecise, and we make errors.

Statistics and probability theory is often presented to students in general, and in engineering in particular, as a topic of value in itself and for this reason it is seldom really appreciated for what it can be used for, namely as a basis for assessing information and organizing the process of acquiring knowledge in pursuit of supporting decision making.

This book has exactly this aim, namely to present statistics and probability theory in the context of supporting engineering decision making. It is assumed that the reader has only little or no prior knowledge on the subject of statistics and probability theory, why this book would be appropriate for undergraduate engineering students. Moreover, unlike many standard textbooks on the same subject, the perspective of the present book is to focus on the use of the theory for the purpose of engineering model building and decision making.

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