Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gregg H. Gunsch, PhD


This thesis constructs the Taxonomy of Uncertainty and an approach for enhancing the information in decision support systems. The hierarchical categorization of numerous causes for uncertainty defines the taxonomy, which fostered the development of a technique for visualizing uncertainty. This technique is fundamental to expressing the multi-dimensional uncertainty that can be associated with any object. By including and intuitively expressing uncertainty, the approach facilitates and enhances intuition and decision-making without undue information overload. The resulting approach for enhancing the information involves recording uncertainty, identifying the relevant items, computing and visualizing uncertainty, and providing interaction with the selection of uncertainty. A prototype embodying this approach to enhancing information by including uncertainty was used to validate these efforts. Evaluation responses of a small sample space support the thesis that the decision-maker's knowledge is enhanced with enlightening information afforded by including and visualizing uncertainty, which can improve the decision-making process. Although the concept was initially conceived to help decision support system users deal with uncertainty, this methodology and these ideas can be applied to any problem where objects with many potential reasons for uncertainty are the focus of the decision-making.

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The author's Vita page is omitted.