Elementary Interactions An Approach in Decision Tool Development

07/19/2019 ∙ by Heinrich Söbke, et al. ∙ 0

Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is an established methodology to support decision making of multi-objective problems. For conducting a MCDA, in most cases a set of objectives (SOO) is required which consists of a hierarchical structure with objectives, criteria and indicators. The development of a SOO may require high organizational effort. This article introduces elementary interactions as a key paradigm for the development of a SOO. Elementary interactions are self-contained information requests that can be answered with little cognitive effort, which are made and processed with the help of a web platform. Each elementary interaction contributes to the stepwise development of a SOO. Based on the hypothesis that a SOO can be developed exclusively with elementary interactions, a platform concept is described. Essential components of the platform are a Model Aggregator, an Elementary Interaction Stream Generator, a Participant Manager and a Discussion Forum. The platform concept has been evaluated in a pilot study using a web-based prototype. In summary, the proposed concept demonstrates the potential to advance the development of sets of objectives for MCDA applications: (1) The platform concept does not restrict the application domain, (2) it is intended to work with little administration efforts, (3) it lowers the organizational effort for developing a SOO. (3) it supports the further development of an existing SOO in the event of significant changes in external conditions. (4) The development process of the SOO can be recorded by the platform and thus becomes retraceable. The reproducibility may have a positive effect on the spread of MCDA applications. The traceability and the use of elementary interactions make the platform appear to be a suitable medium for Citizen Science-based approaches to the development of MCDA applications.

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