TOGA  Socio-Cognitive Approach

   e-Paper, Adam Maria Gadomski. last updating: Aug. 2006




  ontology(definitions), intelligence, decision-making support, ethics, modeling, socio-cognitive


 Cognitive decision-making (D-M) is a human-like complex mental process. It is the essential aspect/property of  (high-)intelligence

                             Intelligence without a decision-making does not exist.


 In the most general cognitive and systemic meta-theory TOGA , the generic D-M model is based on three fundamental concepts: information, preferences and knowledge (IPK). They are employed in the construction of alternatives and criteria (see defs. below).

To follow known  ethics rules is one of the fundamental problems of cognitive decision-making.












  Main Top Observable Properties
D-M is a  recursive and incremental cognitive process. Its carrier is an intelligent entity/system/agent..
  It is characterized by the necessity of a choice which requires a reasoning
/inference  capacity of the subject.
  It is performed on symbolic and sub-symbolic reasoning levels ( conscious and not conscious for the decision-maker).

  It is a reasoning process which can be rational or irrational, and can be based on explicit  or tacit assumptions.


  Basic Decision-Making Ontology:  Systemic TOGA-based definitions and conclusions


 Choice is an mental or computational process which relies on the application of preference rules for the selection of one abstract

 object/entity from a given abstract/conceptual objects set. It can be either reasoning-oriented or action-oriented.


 Criteria - a set of preferences rules applicable to a requested choice.


 Alternatives - a set of candidate abstract objects/entities  to be chosen.


 Decision-making is every mental or computer processing of IPK  that produces a final result called decision, it can be an action, a

  plan or an opinion.  It begins when an agent  needs to make a choice autonomously and it/he/she does not have in mind any "ready"


  Therefore D-M can result either from  a conflict among personal preferences or from the lack of adequate knowledge. 


  More formally:

  Decision-Making is a mental or computational activity implied by a necessity of a choice without yet either 

  known criteria or known alternatives or with not sufficient information  (improved def. from 1997).



  -  A realization of a given procedure/algorithm with possible different results but exactly dependent on the established conditions, is not a

    cognitive decision-making but it is a deterministic process.

  - Not every decision-making/(decisional process) has to lead to a final decision.

  - The necessity of D-M can result from a meta-reasoning on  the current own preferences or from  the continuity of the reasoning/inference

    process of  an agent, called decision-maker.

  - Decision-making is closely related to a uncertainty, it means, in practice, to the  risk and benefits/payoff concepts.

  - Real world decision-making is usually recursive process, it means, a one top decision-making requires partial decisions adequate to the

    decomposition of  the main decisional problem.



  Decision-making has to include together or alternatively  "mechanisms" for information gathering and/or criteria and alternatives building.

  Therefore, in the case of  high-intelligent agents (TOGA model),  it can be a recursive process which involves meta-reasoning levels and

  different points of view .


  Cognitive decision-making (CDM) is human-like decision-making, therefore its model does not include complex optimization methods

  and numerical calculations, but it can include the information about them and about the possibility of their applications.

  There are distinguished:
   - individual decision-making, here its carrier is one intelligent entity.
In case of humans it is also called personal decision

   - collective decision-making /(cooperative decision-making)/(group decision-making)/(social decision-making) , here its carrier is

     a group of  intelligent entities which collaborate.
  For example,
an organizational decision-making can be individual, collective or mixed.


 From the perspective of high-risk large human-based systems (human organizations) is important to distinguish "critical decision-making"  

 Cognitive Decision-Making  is a decisional process which relates to the essential properties or meta-properties of socio-cognitive individual

 and  organizational decision-making (such as, time-critical, ethics critical, business critical, safety critical and efficacy critical).


 According to the UMP paradigm it is divided on  executive and managerial level decisional processes.

 The close relation between the efficacy of organizational decision-making and crisis  is stressed in the white paper on Crisis in Human

 Organization, 2004  and recently discussed in the Gadomski's preliminary paper  Socio-Cognitive Vulnerability of Human  

 Organizations: TOGA meta-theory modelling approach, CNIP'06, see  also the ppt synthetic presentation (poster)


 Computational models of cognitive decision-making can be developed for systems on the different levels of intelligence, for example, distinguished by the capacity of meta-reasoning , They should serve for the development of kernels for different managerial  Intelligent Decision Support Systems (IDSS), nodes in  intelligent computer networks and for artificial " brains of highly autonomous robots.


 Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001) about Decision-Making Modeling:

"There are many that claim that Herbert A. Simon has precipitated something like a revolution in microeconomics. This revolution is in the concept of "decision-making" in organization and under uncertainty, which he claims is far away from the "rational man" often assumed in mainstream microeconomics"  From .

  Decision Making and Problem Solving and the Theory of Subjective Expected Utility (SEU): " The work of managers, of scientists, of engineers, of lawyers--the work that steers the course of society and its economic and governmental organizations--is largely work of making decisions and solving problems."

 A notice on Unified Decision-Making Theory and Intelligence Reinforcement

 The  proposal of the EMIR (Emergent Management Intelligence Reinforcement: Socio-cognitive Modelling of Human, Organization and Computer High-Intelligent Decision-Making) project  based on the TOGA meta-theory, was  new "conceptually updated" initiative of the development of an integrated/unified computational cognitive decision-making theory as a core indispensable activity of every cognitive intelligent entity/system.
Unfortunately, this proposal was maybe
too anticipatory and  "revolutionary"  (2004) for the FET-OPEN Call evaluators of the EC 6FP (see). The short proposal was modified and presented for the Adventure call of NEST (2005) as a STREP  - Managerial Intelligence Reinforcement Operations (MIRO), abs-file.

  An illustration of the Google search : 

   "decision-making": ( 8 Nov. 2004) - 9.690.000 docs,  ( 10 Jan. 2005) -13.600.000 docs ( 21 Sept. 2005)-93.800.000 docs.
   As well ( 8 Nov. 2004):  3.050 docs include "cognitive decision making"
   581 docs include "decision-making modeling".
   1 docs include "modelling of cognitive decision-making "--> . 
   0 docs include "cognitive decision-making modelling" .
  ( 21 Sept. 2005) 620 docs include "cognitive decision-making", modelling


 Some Interesting links:


Leadership Decision Making (personal decision making), by Hossein Arsham

Decision-making, organization and crisis, by Adam Maria Gadomski.

Decision-Making and Organization Vulnerability - by Adam Maria Gadomski, CNIP-2006 Workshop, Rome

Decision.Making in Wikipedia

-  Intelligent Decision Support Systems - An Introduction, web page.

Decision-making and Ethics, Josephson Institute of Ethics - an example of an universal ethical system,Wes Hanson, editor.



 Some remarks on risk, beliefs and decision-making

   To: "Mailing List for Risk Professionals" <>
   At 11.05 11/02/03 -0800, Scott Dwyer wrote:

On 11 Feb 2003 at 10:20, Dukelow, James S Jr wrote:
> While it is clear that religious beliefs can have an effect on some aspects of risk, this discussion has wandered into comparative
> theology. RISKANAL is not an appropriate forum for a discussion of  theology and the tone of Deborah's contributions is unnecessarily
> provocative and offensive for what is supposed to be a professional  discussion of risk-related issues.

Actually, this might be an interesting risk analysis problem: What is the risk of unbelief? I think I remember reading a discussion of this question some time ago, and I think the conclusion was that it made more sense to believe in God and a hereafter than not.


Scott Dwyer

  Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2003 18:10:18 +0100
  To: "Mailing List for Risk Professionals" <>
  From: "Adam M.Gadomski lap-top" <>
  Subject: [riskanal] Re: Beliefs old and new ...and ...Risk

Dear All,

I believed that discussions in frame of the Risk Professionals group ought to base on scientific paradigms. As a consequence, my decision was to read what you write.
Below, I would like to express some my opinions in the subject matter from the socio-cognitive perspective.
- For our decisional processes, belief is an acceptation without scientific  <sufficient for a goal acheivement> verifications of some information, knowledge and preferences, as operational data or their processing tools.
The sources of beliefs can be different but the sources are not important from the perspective of mental decisional processes and risk  management, if they are used. These beliefs can be true or false ( according to the scientific criteria), but it is not important if they determine  some human behavior.
If people use them then they are always relatively true.
The religions produce beliefs but not only, for example, in mathematics, axioms are beliefs.
More precisely < from an absolute perspective>, "belief" is a property/attribute of anything which we use in our mental process leading to a decision.
We may believe that some actions are associated with risks, risk is always associated with losses in a domain considered by a decision maker as important one.
The domain of losses can be real, imaginary or transcendental - it is not important from the perspective of the analysis of human "risk perception".
Perceived subjective risk "works <mentally>" as every "objective" risk, especially if it has a social consensus.

Best regards

- Adam

Adam Maria Gadomski
head of High-Intelligence and Decision Research Group, CAMO
Italian National Research Agency ENEA


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