Construction of response surfaces to facilitate decisions involving multiple-criteria situations



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The objective of this dissertation is the development and description of a methodology which will help decision makers in arriving at decisions in situations where there are more than one criterion. One of the problems often encountered by the decision maker in such situations is the determination of the relative worths of various alternatives to reflect his true preference structure, a structure which is often influenced by various evaluation criteria. Brief descriptions of certain multiple criteria are given in Chapter I. Many disciplines have made rich contributions to the topic of multiple criteria in various ways. Chapter II gives a summary of such contributions. Chapter III describes different measurement techniques which are later used in the dissertation to measure the relative worths of various alternatives for a decision maker. In Chapter IV, a methodology is presented for constructing a response surface for a decision maker; the methodology uses a set of hypothetical alternatives for a two-criteria situation. Actual experiments were conducted on two respondents to derive their response surfaces using Metfessel's (1947) paired comparison technique. The results of these experiments are described in this chapter. In Chapter V, the methodology involving two criteria is modified and extended to allow for construction of a response surface for a three-criteria situation. Chapter VI describes an approach (based on non-metric multidimensional scaling techniques) for deriving the relative worths of hypothetical alternatives in a situation having more than three criteria. Chapter VII deals with group decision situations. A brief summary of various techniques to amalgamate individual relative worths is given in this chapter. Finally, Chapter VIII gives a summary and conclusions.