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Chapter 7:
Translational Science under Uncertainty
Modern engineering begins with a scientific model but in addition to the model there is an objective, such as making a decision based on observations, filtering a signal to reduce noise or accentuate particular frequencies, or intervening in a natural system to force its behavior in a more beneficial direction. The situation changes from modeling behavior to affecting behavior. In medicine, engineering is popularly called translational science, which accurately describes modern engineering. A scientific model, whose purpose is to provide a conceptualization of some portion of the physical world, is transformed into a model characterizing human action in the physical world. Scientific knowledge is translated into practical knowledge by expanding a scientific system to include inputs that can be adjusted to affect the behavior of the system and outputs that monitor the effect of the external inputs and feed back information on how to adjust the inputs [Dougherty, 2009a]. For example, in biomedical science models are created with the intention of using them for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.
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