Ralph L. Keeney

Title of Presentation: Using OR to Improve the Quality of Your Life


Seattle, USA

November, 2007


Most operations researchers are concerned with helping companies, governments, organizations, and other individual’s make better decisions. We should also use our OR concepts, techniques, and tools for the important decisions in our own lives. This presentation outlines guidelines for systematic thinking and analysis to help you improve the quality of your life. Since individuals can purposefully influence the quality of their lives only by their decisions, an individual first needs to define what he or she means by quality of life. This can be done by creating a coherent set of life objectives. Using these, the individual should recognize decision opportunities, create alternatives, and make decisions that further these life objectives. The presentation includes procedures to help one examine life changing decisions, personal policy choices, and fundamental life trade offs, such as time, health, and money.


Ralph L. Keeney is Research Professor of Decision Science at the Fuqua School of Business at the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA. His areas of expertise are decision analysis, risk analysis and management decision-making. He is an authority on decision making with multiple objectives. During the past thirty years, he has contributed substantially toward the development of decision analysis and risk analysis. He is the author or co-author of 10 books, the most recent being Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making better Decisions co-authored with John S. Hammond and Howard Raiffa.