Open Source Decision Models

Somik Raha somikr at
Thu Mar 4 22:47:24 UTC 2010

Hi Folks,

I'm a Phd student in the area of decision analysis and have been making
decision models for public safety that I'd like to put out there for
administrators working on such issues, to help clarify their thinking. Most
of this work is in the form of Excel models. I want to go the open-source
route - but I don't know of any license that can be put on excel models. The
closest seems to be a modified form of the LGPL for Excel macros. The
intellectual property that I want to protect is in the wiring of the
spreadsheet and sometimes in the macros.

Would love to hear suggestions. Here are the two alternatives I've come up
with so far:
1) Come up with a new open-source license for the content of spreadsheet
files in general
2) Come up with a new open-source license for Decision Models (this includes
the idea of the model, as represented in powerpoint slides, spreadsheet
models or code).

Is there an obvious alternative that I am missing? Since we are at the
intersection of code and documents, would creative commons be a better

Thanks for your reflections.

Somik Raha
Doctoral Candidate
Decision and Risk Analysis
Dept. of Management Science & Engg.
Stanford University
(650) 450-8246
somik at

The essence of the moral reformer and of the creator in the field of art
lies in not adjusting to the predominant norms or tastes, but unfurling the
flag of what "ought to be" over and above people's preferences.
-- Risieri Frondizi, in "What is Value?", Pg. 30 (1971)
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