For an in-depth discussion of this book, see Peter Denning’s interview* of Jeff Buzen
Part I – August 24, 2016 ACM Ubiquity website
Part II – August 31, 2016 ACM Ubiquity website

Stochastic models are used in many branches of science and engineering to analyze systems whose behavior appears to be driven by random forces.  The mathematics behind such models can be forbiddingly complex.  Rethinking Randomness presents a surprisingly simple and intuitive method for analyzing such behavior.

The alternative approach – referred to as observational stochastics – was motivated by a problem the author first encountered decades ago:

Why do some probabilistic models work well in practice

even though the systems being modeled fail to satisfy the assumptions that these models require?

Using little more than high school algebra and common sense “back of the envelope” reasoning, observational stochastics provides a solution to this intriguing puzzle.  The solution is built upon a non-traditional method for characterizing uncertainty and a new class of readily understandable yet mathematically rigorous models for dealing with unpredictable behavior.
*Peter J. Denning is Editor-in-Chief of Ubiquity and a past President of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
Ubiquity is ACM’s peer reviewed Web based magazine devoted to the future of computing and the people who are creating it …. As an online publication under the umbrella of the new Communications of ACM, Ubiquity is highly visible within ACM …Ubiquity is a service by ACM for the entire computing professional community”