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Not acting can be just as damaging as acting under difficult to model uncertain
3. Decision makers who incorporate a better understanding of uncertainty in their
modeling and how uncertainty is related to the elements of their decision
problems are far more likely to achieve better results than those who do not.
So how do we deal with these issues? We do so by systematically dealing with
uncertainty. This suggests that we need to understand a number of important char-
acteristics about the uncertainty that surrounds our problem. In Chap. 8 we will see
precisely how to deal with these problems.
7.3 An Example of Deterministic Modeling
Now let us consider a relatively simple problem from which we will create a
deterministic model. We will do so by taking the uncertain problem elements and
converting them into deterministic elements. Thus, in spite of the uncertainty the
problem contains, our approach will be to develop a deterministic model.
A devoted parish priest, Fr. Moses Efia, has an inner city parish in a large
American city, Baltimore, MD. Fr. Efia is faced with a difficult situation. His poor
parish church, Our Lady of Perpetual Succor (OLPS), is scheduled for removal
from the official role of Catholic parishes in the Baltimore dioceses. This means
that the church and school that served so many immigrant populations of Baltimore
for decades will no longer exist. A high-rise condominium will soon replace the
crumbling old structure. Fr. Efia is from Ghana and understands the importance of
a community that tends to the needs of immigrants. Over the decades the church
has ministered to German, Irish, Italian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and
most recently Central American immigrants. These immigrants have arrived in
waves, each establishing their neighborhoods and communities near the church,
and then moving to other parts of the city as economic prosperity has taken
Fr. Efia knows that these alumni of OLPS have a great fondness and sense of
commitment to the church. He has decided to save the church by holding a fund
raising event that he calls Vegas Night at OLPS . His boss, the Archbishop has strictly
forbidden Fr. Efia to solicit money directly from past and present parishioners. Thus
the event, appropriately named to evoke Las Vegas style gambling, is the only way
to raise funds without a direct request of the parish alumni. The event will occur
on a Saturday afternoon after evening mass, and it will feature a number of games
of fortune. The Archbishop, a practical and empathetic man, has allowed Fr. Efia
to invite alumni, but he has warned that if he should notice anything that suggests
a direct request for money, he will cancel the event. Many of the alumni are now
very prosperous and Fr. Efia hopes that they will attend and open their pockets to
the event’s games of chance.
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