Table of Contents:
Introduction to Problem Solving with Multi-Attribute Decision Making
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a limited number of assets and a finite amount of time to conduct investigations, thus action priorities must be established. The Risk Assessment Office has collected the data shown in Table 8.1 for the morning Daily Briefing. Your Operations Research Team must analyze the information and provide a priority list to the Risk Assessment Team in time for the briefing.
TABLE 8.1: DHS Risk Assessment Data
TASK. Build a model that ranks the incidents in a priority order.
ASSUMPTIONS. The main suppositions are:
The problem will be solved with the SAW (exercise) and TOPSIS methods.
Multiple-attribute decision making (MADM) concerns making decisions when there are multiple, but finite, alternatives and criteria. This topic is sometimes called multi-criteria decision analysis or MCDA. These problems differ from analysis where we have only one criteria such as cost with several alternatives. We address problems such as in the DHS scenario where there are six criteria with seven alternatives that impact the decision.
Consider a problem where management needs to prioritize or rank order alternative choices such as: identifing key nodes in a supply chain, choosing a contractor or sub-contractor, selecting airports, ranking recruiting efforts, ranking banking facilities, ranking schools or colleges, etc. How can setting relative priorities or choosing rank orders be accomplished analytically?
We will present four methodologies for prioritizing or rank ordering alternatives based upon multiple criteria. The methodologies are
For each technique, we describe its methodology, discuss strengths and limitations, offer tips for conducting sensitivity analysis, and present illustrative examples using Maple.