## Savvy Shrinking Margins

Over the past couple of years I have heard with increasing frequency from customers in the pharmaceutical industry who use Palisade’s Monte Carlo software in the development of new drugs, especially in testing.  In clinical trials, risk analysis can help developers extrapolate results from a limited group of patients to predict outcomes for a much […]

## Why Use Risk Analysis? Part IV

In the first three entries of this series (see links below), we discussed the use of risk analysis to: establish the average outcome, the average being a crucial reference quantity in decision-making in financial contexts (but a value that is not shown in a static model generally), and establish the variability of the outcome, such […]

## Portfolio Optimization II: An Overview of Markowitz-related Approaches

This entry follows on from an earlier one describing optimal portfolio selection for portfolios where the expected return and standard deviation are sufficient to describe the decision-makers’ risk profile (i.e. the criteria to be used in deciding what is meant by “optimal”). There are several ways to calculate this optimal or “efficient” frontier: Use Excel’s […]

## Modeling in Process Development – Deterministic or Stochastic?

Deterministic" and "stochastic" sound like fancy, academic words, but they are vital for everyone in business to understand. Deterministic refers to single numbers, while stochastic refers to probabilities. When modeling a system, a deterministic model uses numerical input values and calculates numerical output values. But a stochastic model uses a probability distribution for each input […]

## Portfolio Optimization I: An Introduction to Markowitz-related Approaches

The topic of the selection and weighting of assets (or projects) associated with an optimal portfolio is a large and complex one.  For example in general business applications, the determination of the optimal set of companies or subsidiaries that a holding company or conglomerate should own may depend on a large number of factors (including […]

## Social Influence and Network Exploitation

It was bound to happen.  Online communities such as FaceBook and Twitter, which are themselves commercial animals, are being mined by all kinds of enterprises from ad agencies to credit card companies for the commercially valuable data they can yield.  A recent opinion piece in the Manchester Evening News rounds up a fair number of […]

## Of Speed and the Multicore

The demand for computing speed is relentless, and both the hardware and software industries have been looking to parallel computing to accelerate application performance.  Parallel computing, which is based on the observation that two computers harnessed to components of the same task can accomplish that task faster than a single larger computer with equivalent power. […]

## Why Use Risk Analysis? Part III

This blog is a continuation of the series (started a couple of months ago) which discusses different reasons to perform a risk analysis.  In the first two blogs, I discussed the use of risk analysis to a) establish the average outcome, the average being a crucial reference quantity in decision-making in financial contexts, and b) […]

## Brain on a Chip

Last month I noticed a slight uptick in press coverage of computer-vs.-brain stories and thought I had neatly disposed of that topic with my blog on wetware vs. software.  Not so.   The uptick has become an upswing–though not yet quite an obsession.  On one side of campus, biologists are patiently explaining to the lay […]

## The Elephant on the Horizon

For at least the past decade the specter of global climate change has been an elephant on the public’s horizon, growing larger every year as it draws a little bit closer.  Now that it is close enough to be simulated–as I reported in my last blog– and perceived as a real elephant, a number of […]