Lumina Decision Systems wins 2014 INFORMS Decision Analysis Practice Award


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

CATONSVILLE, MD, December 12, 2013 – The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®), the leading professional association for analytics professionals, today announced that the winner of the 2014 INFORMS Decision Analysis Practice Award was presented to Max Henrion, CEO of Lumina Decision Systems, makers of Analytica® software.

The winning presentation "A Multi-attribute Decision Analysis for Decommissioning California’s Offshore Oil Platforms" is by Max Henrion and was coauthored by Brock Bernstein and Surya Swamy. The Award, jointly sponsored by the INFORMS Decision Analysis Society and the Society of Decision Professionals, recognizes outstanding applications of decision analysis to significant decisions. It considers the quality of the analysis, its impact on the decision, and the importance and benefit of that decision. Frank Koch, chair of the Award committee remarked, "This was a great demonstration of how decision analysis can bring together parties with significantly different points of view and objectives to find a "win-win" solution."

Like many environmental decisions, the question of how to decommission California’s offshore oil platforms started out as highly controversial.  But, remarkably, almost all stakeholders, including oil companies and environmentalists, ended up supporting the same solution. The original leases required the oil companies to remove the entire rigs at the end of their productive life. Some are up to 1200 feet deep, making removal very costly with substantial environmental impacts. These rigs have developed their own rich ecosystems, with commercially and ecologically important rockfish species, making them popular with sea lions, recreational divers, and other marine life forms.

An interdisciplinary team created a decision tool in Lumina's Analytica® software to explore and evaluate decommissioning options to assist the California Ocean Science Trust. The two main options examined were complete removal, as required by the original leases, and conversion to an artificial reef, by cutting structures at 85 feet below the water line to prevent interference with shipping. Partial removal reduces costs by up to $500 million and helps to preserve marine ecosystems. Eventually the stakeholders reached near consensus on the "rigs to reefs" policy option. California lawmakers almost unanimously passed enabling legislation, signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010. 

Skyli McAfee, Director of California Ocean Science Trust, said "By clearly identifying the issues, synthesizing the best multi-disciplinary science, daylighting the uncertainty and providing unbiased review, the tool was successful in distilling the rhetoric to meaningful discussion of tradeoffs and values. Further, the tool was made available to the public; its assumptions and approach were transparent. Constituents had the opportunity to import various scenarios and learn the best approach. With this tool, sound legislation was passed that will serve California and our marine resources well."

Max Henrion, CEO of Lumina, commented "This decision analysis was one of the most challenging and, in the end, satisfying projects I have worked on. It is truly an honor to have our work recognized in this way."    

The winning presentation was delivered earlier this month at the 2014 INFORMS Meeting in San Francisco.


INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in analytics and operations research (O.R.). INFORMS advances research, and develops and promotes best practices in analytics and O.R. through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and professional development. INFORMS helps business, government, and other organization professionals make better decisions to drive value to their organizations and society. Our certification program (CAP®), highly cited publications, educational meetings and conferences, continuing education, industry and process focused networking communities, competitions, and recognition provide professionals with the knowledge and connections they need to achieve ever greater value for their organizations. Further information about INFORMS can be found online at or @informs.

About Decision Analysis Society and Society of Decision Professionals:
The Decision Analysis Society (DAS) is a subdivision of INFORMS. Founded in 1980, the Decision Analysis Society promotes the development and use of logical methods for improving decision-making in public and private enterprise. For more information, visit

About Lumina Decision Systems: Lumina develops and disseminates innovative technologies that help people make effective decisions. Lumina's flagship software product, Analytica®, is a quantitative decision-support environment that helps people visualize problems with a clarity and power far beyond what is possible in a spreadsheet. Existing applications of Analytica include strategic planning, R&D management, decision analysis, and risk analysis in energy, environment, finance, healthcare, and telecommunications. Analytica is being used in major corporations, consulting firms, universities, and government agencies around the World.

About California Ocean Science Trust: The California Ocean Science Trust ( is a non-profit, public benefit corporation that exists by statute (CORSA 2001) to deliver un-biased and credible scientific support to state decision-makers. OST staff have expertise in marine science as well as processes to deliver that science to decision-makers.

The Society of Decision Professionals (SDP) supports decision professionals to become the trusted advisors of choice for decision makers facing important and complex decisions. The Society fosters collaboration, continual learning, and networking amongst its members and other professional societies and organizations so that as a growing community we can bring clarity and insight to decision-makers. For more information, visit