Current Trends in Decision Making Tools

A recent trend in decision making in environmental studies is the use of computer software. For example, Torno et al. (1988) developed a training manual to evaluate the environmental impacts of large-scale water resources development projects. Enough information is provided to enable the knowledgeable user to evaluate any water body of interest. The training primarily uses a multiobjective, multicriteria decision analysis approach. An interactive computer program simplifies application of the method described in the training manual and serves as a valuable learning aid.

A decision-support system computer model, called d-SSYS, can help determine the relative weights of evaluation parameters used to evaluate projects and the utility function for each of the attributes (Klee 1988). A unique feature of this model is that it incorporates three types of uncertainties: (1) those dealing with the factor (parameter) weights; (2) those dealing with the worth of each project with regard to each factor; and (3) those dealing with the utilities of the attributes. This model is applicable to any problem of competing alternatives.

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