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Epistemological perspective in the modelling process of an industrial system integrating technical and organisational dimensions

Abstract : EDF and INERIS are collaborating on a project that aims at integrating technical and organisational dimensions together for assessing major hazard prevention of an industrial system. This means that the system is open and contains inherent complexity. The objective is to identify risks, evaluate and prioritize them to help decision making with the support of bayesian networks. We considered the risk analysis process as a particular case of modelling process and we decided to investigate the epistemological side of the modelling approach before implementing bayesian tools. Since the modelling question is not a traditional scientific question in the field of risk assessment, we had to immerse ourselves in a philosophical perspective for addressing issues such as : (1) Reality and truth : Should a model be a faithful and accurate image of reality, or rather be a representation that helps taking appropriate decisions ? (2) Subject-object relationship : Does the experience of the expert influence the final shape of the model ? How can we tackle inputs or opinions given by persons who are part of the system ? (3) The goal of a modelling process : Describing a system, explaining it, or predicting its behaviour ? (4) The values of the theories and languages used : How to translate and quantify influences between two events, especially in the organisational field where these influences may be subtle ? This paper presents the ideas that came to light in this epistemological stage of our project. We finally focused on the integration of uncertainty and suggested a distinction between quantification uncertainties, also referred to as technical uncertainties, and uncertainties linked to the modelling approach itself, that mostly cover methodological and epistemological uncertainties. This typology helped us in designing a conceptual frame for tackling both technical and organisational factors.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00166345
Contributor : Aurélie Léger <>
Submitted on : Friday, August 3, 2007 - 5:32:09 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 1:42:08 PM

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Régis Farret, Jean-Christophe Le Coze, Myriam Merad, Carole Duval, Aurélie Léger. Epistemological perspective in the modelling process of an industrial system integrating technical and organisational dimensions. 15th Annual Conference of the Society for Risk Analysis - Europe (SRA-E), Sep 2006, Ljubljana, Slovenia. ⟨hal-00166345⟩

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