An Experimental Study of Human Decisions in Sequential Information Acquisition in Design: Impact of Cost and Task Complexity

  • Ashish M. ChaudhariEmail author
  • Jitesh H. Panchal
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 134)


An important type of process-level decisions in design is information acquisition decisions which includes deciding whether to acquire information about a concept, which concepts to test, whether to run simulations or conduct experiments, etc. To improve design processes, it is important to understand how individuals make these decisions under different problem and process settings. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to understand which strategies individuals follow during sequential information acquisition, and how various factors such as cost and task complexity impact their strategies. Towards this objective, a behavioral experiment involving the function optimization task is conducted using student subjects, and Bayesian inference is performed to estimate the closeness of the subjects’ decisions to predictions from different decision models.


Information acquisition Sequential decisions Design optimization Behavioral experiment 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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