Strategic Analysis of a Regulatory Conflict Using Dempster-Shafer Theory and AHP for Preference Elicitation

Abstract

Dempster-Shafer Theory (DST) and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) are integrated in order to elicit preference information from experts regarding decision makers (DMs) involved in a regulatory conflict. More precisely, DST is used for combining expert knowledge regarding preferences of a specific DM(the regulatory body), and AHP is employed for ranking feasible states in the conflict for this same DM. In order to illustrate how this preference elicitation proposal can be conveniently implemented in practice within the Graph Model for Conflict Resolution (GMCR), it is applied to a real construction dispute located in the city of Ipojuca, Brazil. The conflict is modeled with three DMs: support, opposition, and the regulatory body. Results show that the new preference methodology possesses many inherent advantages including high flexibility, the ability to capture uncertainty or even ignorance about preferences, the possibility of combining expert knowledge with respect to missing preferences, and a substantial reduction in the number of pairwise comparisons of states required to express preference information.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers who supplied helpful suggestions that improved the quality of their paper. They would also like to thank the Conflict Analysis Group at the University of Waterloo in Canada for the use of their facilities and for providing the license for the GMCR+ software, version 0.4. Moreover, they also want to acknowledge the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq) – (scholarship process number 305792 / 2017-2) for its financial support. Finally, a special thanks for the civil engineers Héctor Diaz and Simone Machado Santos, and Maria do Carmo Mendonca Silva for providing information about the conflict.

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Correspondence to Maisa M. Silva.

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Maisa Mendonca Silva is an assistant professor at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, where she teaches operational research topics. She holds a PhD in management engineering from the same university. Her special research interests are: game theory, optimization methods, fuzzy theory, conflict analysis and multicriteria decision aid. Her research is published in journals such as International Journal of Information Management, International Journal of Production Economics and Mathematical Problems in Engineering. Dr. Silva is a researcher on productivity from Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

Keith W. Hipel is a university professor of systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo, Past President of the Academy of Science (Royal Society of Canada (RSC)), Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, and Fellow of the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Dr. Hipel received his BASc in civil engineering (1970), MASc in systems design (1972), and the PhD in civil engineering (1975) from Waterloo. His interdisciplinary research interests are the development and application of conflict resolution, multiple objective decision making and time series analysis techniques. Dr. Hipel is Foreign Member of the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and holds fellow designations with IEEE, RSC and five other professional organizations. He is recipient of the JSPS Eminent Scientist Award (Japan), Sir John William Dawson Medal (RSC), Norbert Wiener Award (IEEE), Jiangsu Friendship Medal, and three honorary doctorate degrees.

Marc Kilgour is professor of mathematics at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and adjunct professor of systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo. He holds BASc, MSc, and PhD degrees in engineering physics, applied mathematics, and mathematics from the University of Toronto. His publications can be broadly described as the mathematical analysis of decision problems. More specifically, he has contributed innovative applications of game theory and related techniques to international relations, arms control, environmental management, negotiation, arbitration, voting, fair division, and coalition formation, and has pioneered the application of decision support systems to strategic conflict. Active in 12 professional societies, he has held many editorial responsibilities including co-editing the Springer Handbook of Group Decision and Negotiation. He was President of the Peace Science Society in 2012–2013, and President of the INFORMS Section on Group Decision and Negotiation in 2015–2017.

Ana Paula Cabral Seixas Costa is an associate professor and Head of Management Engineering Department at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco. Her research areas include information systems, group decision and negotiation, conflict analysis and neuroIS. Her research has appeared in journals such as International Journal of Information Management, International Journal of Information Technology and Decision Making and European Journal and Operation Research. Dr. Costa is also member of the editorial board of IJDSST journal and researcher on Productivity from Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Development (CNPq).

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Silva, M.M., Hipel, K.W., Kilgour, D.M. et al. Strategic Analysis of a Regulatory Conflict Using Dempster-Shafer Theory and AHP for Preference Elicitation. J. Syst. Sci. Syst. Eng. 28, 415–433 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11518-019-5420-1

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Keywords

  • Regulatory conflict
  • graph model for conflict resolution
  • absence of preference information
  • DST-AHP