1981 volume 8(4) pages 359 – 365

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Atkin R H, 1981, "A theory of surprises" Environment and Planning B 8(4) 359 – 365

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A theory of surprises

R H Atkin

Received 12 November 1981

Abstract. The idea of a surprise is developed from that of a p-event. It is compared with probabilistic ideas of expected and unexpected, and an algebra of surprises is shown to contain elementary probability algebra as a trivial case. Some indication is given of how the ideas might be used to deal with problems of 'low risk with disastrous consequences' -- such as the dangers associated with atomic power stations.

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