Quality and Reliability Engineering International

In defence of numerical techniquesgl

Journal Article

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to say a few kind words for numerical techniques, which have become the object of some undeserved criticism. Probability information is part of decision‐making, be it intuitive or analytical. In this age of the personal computer we do not have to go to great lengths to quantify this information, so why not do it? The failure to rescue hostages in Iran is a dramatic example that reliance on intuition can have bad results. On the side of numerical techniques, three examples of successful and practical applications are described. It is concluded that ‘the numbers game’ contributes worthwhile support to decision‐making and should continue to co‐exist with ‘shirt‐sleeve’ efforts to improve products and policies.

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