Readings for Week 9


Wed., Mar. 6

Please read from Quinn et al. (2017) and answer the following questions:

  1. What is being optimized in this paper?
  2. What uncertainties and processes are being considered? Are there any relevant considerations not included in the model?
  3. The authors discussed that this work creates two new technological contributions: “(1) demonstrating the value and use of direct policy search (DPS) (Rosenstein & Barto, 2001) for identifying adaptive robust operational control strategies for socio-ecological systems and (2) demonstrating how nonlinear environmental thresholds, or tipping points, pose fundamental challenges for balancing economic benefits and their consequent risks to socio-ecological systems”. Why do you think these contributions are important?
  4. This paper explores the modeling of “socio-ecological systems with tipping points,” specifically the classical shallow lake problem. Discuss other examples of these types of systems. Do you think climate change will produce similar systems?


Quinn, J. D., Reed, P. M., & Keller, K. (2017). Direct policy search for robust multi-objective management of deeply uncertain socio-ecological tipping points. Environmental Modelling & Software, 92, 125–141.