Decision Aiding: Major Actors and the Role of Models
Before describing how this book approaches the idea of decision aiding, we must examine the idea of a model. We define a model in Section 2.1 and discuss the types of models treated in this book — namely, conscious models possessing some explicit form.
We define decision aiding in Section 2.2 as a model-based activity designed to answer questions posed by some stakeholders in the decision process. The answers sought should clarify the decision and help identify behavior that will increase the compatibility of the process with the stakeholders’ objectives and value systems. We analyze the roles of three major actors — the decision maker, the analyst, and the client — and discuss the issues of neutrality and objectivity in the modeling effort.
Consider a decision process concerning investment or production, marketing or finance, distribution or procurement, machine or personnel management. The stakeholder — who may come from a firm, from a community group, from a government administration,... — will automatically be faced with a certain family of questions putting him or her in contact with a particular class of phenomena. In some cases, simple observation is all that he or she needs to get a good handle on these phenomena and work effectively with their causes and effects. In other cases, however, more formal models can be extremely useful in understanding and working with these phenomena or in developing appropriate answers and convincing others to accept them. As with all scientific approaches, decision aiding relies heavily on relatively explicit and formal models.
KeywordsDecision Maker Major Actor Concrete Object Travel Time Saving System Design Engineer
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