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An applied approach to numerically imprecise decision making
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Information Technology and Media.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite the fact that unguided decision making might lead to inefficient and nonoptimal decisions, decisions made at organizational levels seldom utilise decisionanalytical tools. Several gaps between the decision-makers and the computer baseddecision tools exist, and a main problem in managerial decision-making involves the lack of information and precise objective data, i.e. uncertainty and imprecision may be inherent in the decision situation. We believe that this problem might be overcome by providing computer based decision tools capable of handling the uncertainty inherent in real-life decision-making. At present, nearly all decision analytic software is only able to handle precise input, and no known software is capable of handling full scale imprecision, i.e. imprecise probabilities, values and weights, in the form of interval and comparative statements. There are, however, some theories which are able to handle some kind of uncertainty, and which deal with computational and implementational issues, but if they are never actually operationalised, they are of little real use for a decision-maker. Therefore, a natural question is how a reasonable decision analytical framework can be built based on prevailing interval methods, thus dealing with the problems of uncertain and imprecise input? Further, will the interval approach actually prove useful? The framework presented herein handles theoretical foundations for, and implementations of, imprecise multi-level trees, multi-criteria, risk analysis, together with several different evaluation options. The framework supports interval probabilities, values, and criteria weights, as well as comparative statements, also allowing for mixing probabilistic and multi-criteria decisions. The framework has also been field tested in a number of studies, proving the usefulness of the interval approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2007. , p. 50
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 21
Keywords [en]
decision tree, decision analysis, decision tool, imprecise reasoning, probability
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-7147ISBN: 978-91-85317-49-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-7147DiVA, id: diva2:126819
Public defence
(English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-11-29 Created: 2008-11-23 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Risk Assessment of New Pricing Strategies in the District Heating Market: A Case Study at Sundsvall Energi AB
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risk Assessment of New Pricing Strategies in the District Heating Market: A Case Study at Sundsvall Energi AB
2010 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777, Vol. 38, no 5, p. 2171-2178Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The price structure of district heating has been no major scientific issue for the last decades in energy related research. However, today trends in district heating pricing tend to move towards a more customer oriented approach with fixed prices under a longer period, leading to a more complex price structure. If a district heating supplier offers district heating with fixed prices in order to compete with similar electricity offers, the financial risk of the fixed price product is significantly higher than the risk of an ordinary variable cost offer. In contrary to an electricity seller, the district heating company can not transfer all of the risk of fixed prices offer to the financial market, instead the company is thrown upon its own ability to handle the risk by, e.g., hedging its own energy purchase. However, all uncertainties can not be coped with in this manner. Thus, there is a need for a methodology that can be used to estimate the financial risk of different price structures and to value different opportunities to reduce the risk. In this article we propose a methodology, implemented in a prototype software, to evaluate the risk associated with new price structures in district heating.

Keywords
District heating; Risk assment; Pricing
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-6608 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2009.11.064 (DOI)000276289500014 ()2-s2.0-77649190136 (Scopus ID)4936 (Local ID)4936 (Archive number)4936 (OAI)
Projects
STC
Available from: 2008-11-23 Created: 2008-11-23 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
2. Using a Software Tool for Public Decision Analysis Analysis: the Case of Nacka Municipality
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using a Software Tool for Public Decision Analysis Analysis: the Case of Nacka Municipality
2007 (English)In: Decision Analysis, ISSN 1545-8490, Vol. 4(2), p. 76-90Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a case of interval decision analysis using a tool that takes advantage of interval probabilities, values, and criteria weights, and is capable of handling comparative relations, i.e. interval statements on differences between variables. These statements are represented as constraints to the solution set and evaluated using a number of different evaluation methods, each serving the decision-maker with different insights of the decision problem. We demonstrate the applicability of the tool in a case study regarding three public infrastructure decision problems which had remained unresolved during a number of years.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
INFORMS/Highwire Press, 2007
Keywords
Interval decision analysis, public decision making, transparent decision process
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-1359 (URN)10.1287/deca.1070.0088 (DOI)4938 (Local ID)4938 (Archive number)4938 (OAI)
Projects
PI - Publika Informationssystem
Available from: 2008-11-23 Created: 2008-11-23 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
3. Decision Evaluation of Three Flood Management Strategies.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decision Evaluation of Three Flood Management Strategies.
2003 (English)In: FLAIRS' 03 Recent Advances in Artificial Intelligence: Proceedings of the 16th International Flairs Conference, Menlo Park, Calif.: AAAI Press , 2003, p. 491-495Conference paper, Published paper (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This article describes the application of computational decision analytic techniques for a national policy decision. It constitutes an example of the increasing use of modern computational decision methods to assist in decision-making in society. An integrated flood catastrophe model is presented as well as some results of a case study made in the Upper Tisza region in north-eastern Hungary, viz. the Palad-Csecsei basin. Background data was provided through the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and complemented by interviews with different stakeholders in the region. Based upon these data, where a large degree of uncertainty is prevailing, we demonstrate how an implementation of a simulation and decision analytical model can provide insights into the effects of imposing different policy options for a flood risk management program in the region. We focus herein primarily on general options for designing a public/private insurance and reinsurance system for Hungary. It should, however, be emphasized that the main purpose of this article is not to provide any definite recommendations, but rather to present a methodology for handling a set of policy packages with the aim of gaining a consensus among stakeholders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Menlo Park, Calif.: AAAI Press, 2003
Keywords
decision analysis
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-1674 (URN)313 (Local ID)1-57735-177-0 (ISBN)313 (Archive number)313 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
4. Investment Decision Analysis: a case study at SCA Transforest
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investment Decision Analysis: a case study at SCA Transforest
2003 (English)In: IKE'03: Proceedings of the international conference on infomration and knowledge engineering: Vols. 1 and 2, 2003, p. 79-85Conference paper, Published paper (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

In investment decision-making in organizations, large values can be at stake. The need for a structured process is evident, not least when several people or interests are involved in the process. We advocate that the use of modern computational decision analysis can improve such investment processes by improving visibility and only requiring reasonably precise input data. The applicability of a structured decision analysis to corporate decision-making is demonstrated in a case study at SCA Transforest, a subdivision to SCA. The decision problem consists of whether a new system for logistic control should be implemented or not. The background information was collected through interviews and the structuring and analysis of the problem was performed using the tool DecideIT, designed for handling situations where uncertainties in input data prevail. The result of the analysis points out a reasonable action, but also shows which aspects are crucial to consider for a reliable result.

Keywords
Decision analysis, Decision tools, Vague information, Decision support system
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-1299 (URN)314 (Local ID)1-932415-09-2 (ISBN)314 (Archive number)314 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-11-23 Created: 2008-11-23 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
5. The DecideIT Decision Tool
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The DecideIT Decision Tool
2003 (English)In: ISIPTA '03: Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Imprecise Probabilities and Their Applications, Lugano, Switzerland, July 14-17, 2003, Carleton Scientific , 2003, p. 204-217Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The nature of much information available to decision makers is vague and imprecise, be it information for human managers in organisations or for process agents in a distributed computer environment. Several models for handling vague and imprecise information in decision situations have been suggested. In particular, various interval methods have prevailed, i.e. methods based on interval estimates of probabilities and, in some cases, interval utility estimates. Even if these approaches in general are well founded, little has been done to take into consideration the evaluation perspective and, in particular, computational aspects and implementation issues. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a tool for handling imprecise information in decision situations. The tool is an implementation of our earlier research focussing on finding fast algorithms for solving bilinear systems of equations together with a graphical user interface supporting the interpretation of evaluations of imprecise data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Carleton Scientific, 2003
Keywords
Decision Analysis, Interval Probabilities, Utility Theory, Decision Tools.
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-1690 (URN)315 (Local ID)1-894145-17-8 (ISBN)315 (Archive number)315 (OAI)
Projects
PI - Publika Informationssystem
Available from: 2008-11-23 Created: 2008-11-23 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
6. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Software for Uncertain and Imprecise Information
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Software for Uncertain and Imprecise Information
2006 (English)In: Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of Asia Pacific Decision Sciences Institute - INNOVATION & SERVICE EXCELLENCE FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT, 2006, p. 342-345Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a multi-criteria decision tool built on theories of uncertainty representation and evaluation. The tool supports interval probabilities, interval values (utili¬ties), interval criteria weights, as well as com¬para¬tive statements, not requiring input on single variables, but rather allowing interval statements on differences between variables. The user input is represented as constraints to the solution set of the variables representing the decision problem. The problem is then evaluated using several available evaluation methods each giving a different perspective on the decision problem modeled. Instead of applying separate sensitivity analyses on top of the evalua¬tion, it tries to incorporate the sensitivity analyses into the repre¬sentation, making uncertainty a first-class citizen in the model. The support of interval and comparative state¬ments, in addition to embedded sensitivity analyses and optionally using separate probabilistic event trees for each criterion, makes the tool, to our knowledge, the first of its kind.

Keywords
decision tool, multi-criteria, decision analysis, imprecise information
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3425 (URN)000239342800092 ()3419 (Local ID)3419 (Archive number)3419 (OAI)
Conference
11th Annual Conference of the Asia-Pacific-Decision-Sciences-Institute, Jun 14-18, 2006, Kowloon, China
Available from: 2008-09-30 Created: 2008-09-30 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
7. A Note on Tornado Diagrams in Interval Decision Analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Note on Tornado Diagrams in Interval Decision Analysis
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the World Congress of Engineering 2007, IAENG, 2007Conference paper, Published paper (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The research efforts of the DECIDE Research Group have resulted in a decision tool capable of handling imprecise information in complex decision situations. Some of the research has been directed towards developing decision analytical algorithms and applying these algorithms in a graphical user interface. The decision tool takes intervals as well as comparative relations as input constraint, and is incorporating sensitivity analyses into the repre¬sentation, instead of applying separate sensitivity analyses on top of the evalua¬tion procedure. However, besides the built-in sensitivity analysis, a second form of sensitivity analysis could be useful in order to point out the most critical probabilities, values, or weights to the decision at hand. This paper deals with the problems and the implementation of interval tornado diagrams in a decision tool supporting interval probabilities, values, criteria weights, as well as com¬para¬tive relations.

Keywords
decision analysis, decision tree, imprecise information, tornado diagram
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-4213 (URN)4935 (Local ID)4935 (Archive number)4935 (OAI)
Available from: 2008-11-23 Created: 2008-11-23 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
8. Preference Ordering Algorithms with Imprecise Expectations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Preference Ordering Algorithms with Imprecise Expectations
2006 (English)In: Proceedings of IMECS 2006, 2006, p. 750-755Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In imprecise domains the preference order of the alternatives is not straightforward to establish, due to possible overlapping of expected values among the alternatives. Nevertheless, such rankings are useful in decision analysis applications, as obtaining a ranking of alternatives is a way to gain an overview of the situation. The rankings presented in this paper represent overviews of a preference order of the alternatives based on their respective expected utility. The ranking can be either ordinal, focusing only on the ordering, or cardinal, also taking the differences in expected utility into account. The first set of procedures discussed is a cardinal ranking, which provides the user with expected utility intervals of the evaluated alternatives. This yields a more extensive overview with more detailed information. The second set of procedures discussed ordinal rankings of the alternatives based on three different approaches; 1) contraction based ranking, 2) intersection based ranking, and 3) focal point based ranking with indifference level. Finally, we show that regardless of ranking method their respective maximal elements all conform to the maximal element of the ordinal ranking. Hence, if the intention is to find a maximal element, it is sufficient to use either pointwise cardinal ranking or ordinal ranking with zero as indifference level.

Keywords
Decision analysis, alternative ranking, utility theory, imprecise information
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3775 (URN)000241357500140 ()2-s2.0-84888212505 (Scopus ID)4068 (Local ID)988-986713-3 (ISBN)4068 (Archive number)4068 (OAI)
Conference
International Multiconference of Engineers and Computer Scientists, Jun 20-22, 2006, Kowloon, China
Available from: 2008-11-23 Created: 2008-11-23 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
9. Methods for Evaluating Multi-Level Decision Trees in Imprecise Domains
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Methods for Evaluating Multi-Level Decision Trees in Imprecise Domains
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference, FLAIRS 2005 - Recent Advances in Artifical Intelligence, AAAI Press, 2005, p. 734-739Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the years numerous decision analytical models based on interval estimates of probabilities and utilities have been developed, and a few of these models have also been implemented into software. However, only one software, the Delta approach, are capable of handling probabilities, values and weights simultaneously, and also allow for omparative relations, which are very useful where the information quantity is limited. A major disadvantage with this method is that it only allows for single-level decision trees and cannot non-trivially be extended to handle multi-level decision trees. This paper generalizes the Delta approach into a method for handling multi-level decision trees. The straight-forward way of doing this is by using a multi-linear solver; however, this is very demanding from a computational point of view. The proposed solutions are instead to either recursively collapse the multi-level decision tree into a single-level tree or, preferably, use backward induction, thus mapping it to a bilinear problem. This can be solved by LP-based algorithms, which facilitate reasonable computational effort.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AAAI Press, 2005
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3782 (URN)2-s2.0-32844468538 (Scopus ID)4074 (Local ID)1577352343 (ISBN)4074 (Archive number)4074 (OAI)
Conference
Recent Advances in Artifical Intelligence - Eighteenth International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference, FLAIRS 2005; Clearwater Beach, FL; United States; 15 May 2005 through 17 May 2005; Code 66624
Available from: 2008-11-22 Created: 2008-11-22 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
10. Decision analysis with multiple objectives in a framework for evaluating imprecision
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decision analysis with multiple objectives in a framework for evaluating imprecision
2005 (English)In: International Journal of Uncertainty Fuzziness and Knowledge-Based Systems, ISSN 0218-4885, Vol. 13, no 5, p. 495-509Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present a decision tree evaluation method for analyzing multi-attribute decisions under risk, where information is numerically imprecise. The approach extends the use of additive and multiplicative utility functions for supporting evaluation of imprecise statements, relaxing requirements for precise estimates of decision parameters. Information is modeled in convex sets of utility and probability measures restricted by closed intervals. Evaluation is done relative to a set of rules, generalizing the concept of admissibility, computationally handled through optimization of aggregated utility functions. Pros and cons of two approaches, and tradeoffs in selecting a utility function, are discussed.

Keywords
Decision analysis, multi-attribute utility theory, decision tools; imprecise information
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-3398 (URN)000232867500003 ()3468 (Local ID)3468 (Archive number)3468 (OAI)
Conference
17th International FLAIRS Conference, May 17-19, 2004, miami Beach, FL
Note
17th International FLAIRS Conference, May 17-19, 2004, Miami Beach, FLAvailable from: 2008-11-23 Created: 2008-11-23 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Idefeldt, Jim

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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Output format
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