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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Mathematical Models in Technology Diffusion and Forecasting with Applications
Article Type: Book reports From: Kybernetes, Volume 38, Issue 3/4
L.P. Rai and A. Ghosal,Anamaya Publishers,New Delhi,2009,pp. i-x and 1-143,ISBN 13 978-81-88342-99-0; ISBN 10 81-88342-99-8,Prices and further details available at: email@example.com
Both authors are particularly well-qualified to write on these subjects. Dr L.P. Rai is a Member of the Mathematical Modelling Group of the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies of India, whilst Dr A. Ghosal was formarly Head of the Operations Research Unit of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and a well-known contributor to Kybernetes.
In this book report, we are, of course, only able to outline the contents of the text. The invited foreward to the book tells us that:
All policy analysis involves asking an “if-then” question. If the policy was changed, what then would be the outcome? Often we use mental models to answer these questions. These models may be vague and imprecise but formed from intuition that develops by experience over the years. […] Mathematical models have other advantages; it forces you to think clearly and it requires that all your assumptions are made explicit. It, therefore becomes transparent and amenable to criticisms by others […] That really is the way of science.
A useful introductory preface is given by the authors who outline clearly their intentions and the problems to be addressed in this monograph. The practical value of the book is that it was specially written to:
[…] help business managers do a better job of anticipating and managing uncertainty by using forecasting techniques.
This is helped by the provision of case histories as illustrative examples of the various applications given in the book, of mathematical models and techniques and the results derived. Nine chapters are included, each with subheadings, they are:
Forecasting: an introduction.
Classical forecasting methods.
Innovation diffusion models.
Technology substitution models.
Uncertainty resolution in planning.
A bibliography, author index and subject index, are also included. A full review of this monograph is to be published in later issues of this journal.
C.J.H. MannBook reviews and reports Editor, Bangor University, Bangor, UK