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ACH – freeware helps you make intelligent decisions based on facts not fiction


ACH (Analysis of Competing Hypotheses) is a piece of open source freeware which was originally developed as part of a CIA project and has now been donated to the world for free download. The program basically allows you to set up a structured decision making process using a sophisticated hypothesis testing structure.


First define your question, then set down the possible hypotheses. Then list the evidence for and against each hypothesis, add them to the matrix and check the inconsistencies. Refine, check, refine until satisfied. It’s all very rigorous and should help you come out with a rational, plausible and perhaps even irrefutable solution? Or not.

  A Warning. ACH will stimulate and guide an inquiring mind but will not force open a closed mind. It assumes analysts are truly interested in identifying and questioning assumptions and in developing new insights about the issue in question. It is unlikely that ACH will resolve an impasse between analysts who are firmly entrenched in their views about the issue and have a strong commitment to maintaining those views.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.

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