Bryant, Benjamin P. “Policy and Model Characterization: The Other Parable of Daisyworld.” (2003).
Decision makers frequently appeal to mathematical models for resolutions to difficult policy questions. However, as models become increasingly complex, problems arise which can inhibit the proper interpretation of model outputs, and thereby inhibit their appropriate use in policy making. In this paper we will elaborate on some of these problems, and discuss possible methods for overcoming them. We will begin by discussing the concepts of a model and model uncertainties. Following that, we will illustrate the concept of model characterization on a simple model, and then discuss the difficulties that arise as models become more complex, ending with some theoretical issues that require further investigation.