Omega

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0305-0483
Publications
Article
When using data envelopment analysis (DEA) as a benchmarking technique for nursing homes, it is essential to include measures of the quality of care. We survey applications where quality has been incorporated into DEA models and consider the concerns that arise when the results show that quality measures have been effectively ignored. Three modeling techniques are identified that address these concerns. Each of these techniques requires some input from management as to the proper emphasis to be placed on the quality aspect of performance. We report the results of a case study in which we apply these techniques to a DEA model of nursing home performance. We examine in depth not only the resulting efficiency scores, but also the benchmark sets and the weights given to the input and output measures. We find that two of the techniques are effective in insuring that DEA results discriminate between high and low quality performance.
 
Article
A relative value of a management information system (MIS) is defined in this paper by a ratio u1/u0, where u0 is a value of a utility function of an enterprise whose management information system is perfect, and u1 is its value when it is not perfect and may produce inaccurate or out-of-date data among correct information. Our simulation model contains beuristics which describe the operational and strategic information system of an enterprise. The environment of the enterprise may be stable or dynamic. A mathematical formula, based on simulations, is developed. This formula describes how the relative value of an MIS depends on such factors as the accuracy of an operational information system, delays in information flow, the quality of a strategic information system, a reinvestment ratio used in the enterprise, and a number of investment periods. This formula has been found suitable in an enterprise with a strategically stable environment, but not with a turbulent environment.
 
Article
The purpose of this paper is to present a framework for discussion and examination of the functions of work. The evolution of work is explored briefly, and the functions of work discussed under five main headings; income, regulating of life activity, identification, association and meaningful life experience. Some of the major literature relating to each area is reviewed in an effort to provide a further understanding of this complex area.
 
Article
Experience with small group production systems has shown that mere change of layout and introduction of groups on the shop floor do not achieve the main objectives and possible advantages of groups, unless they are accompanied by certain changes in supporting services. Probably the most important changes are those required in production control. It is absolutely vital that the requirements and characteristics of the manufacturing system are taken into account when designing the production control system and vice versa. This paper outlines the problems and important factors affecting production control in a Group Technology (GT) environment, together with case studies which describe the operation of production planning and control systems used in two different organisations.
 
Article
This paper explores a number of different theoretical positions concerned with the methodology, philosophy, process and practice of OR. These are presented in order to air some of the debates relevant to the theory of (or the role of theory in) OR, but not to provide any definitive resolution to the debates. In part, and in particular in terms of the style in which it is written, the paper is a response to Burrell's 1989 call for postmodernizing OR. The concluding section explores these links.
 
Article
Based on the decision-making process that actually happens in most organizations, a management support system (MSS) or an integrated decision support systems (DSS) is defined as a network of subsystem interfaces, as opposed to management information system (MIS) being a network of information flows. Three modes for subsystem interfaces are discussed. To help the operationalization of the (computerized) support system, we also propose a design architecture which consists of the continuum of conceptual constructs, operational constructs and implementational constructs.
 
Article
The economic evaluation of Management Information Systems may be based on the following theories and techniques: Control Theory, System Dynamics, (discrete-event) simulation, and gaming. Applications of these approaches are summarized. Advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches are presented.
 
Article
The paper describes the aims and applications of energy analysis, emphasising its role as a complement to conventional financial analysis. It is shown to provide useful insights in applications such as forecasting price rises due to a fuel price rise, calculating the net costs of fuel obtained from unconventional sources, forecasting energy demand and evaluating energy conservation schemes. Although the field is still young, and most activity is in compiling reliable data bases, its systems approach and methods promise to make it a useful tool for evaluating patterns of resource uses.
 
Article
The value that is placed on information by managers, who are the users of information systems, is an important construct in all aspects of systems design, development and evaluation. This study uses a multidimensional attribute approach to assess the value of information and reports on tests of hypotheses related to differences that have been assumed to exist among managers in various functional areas and at various hierarchical levels in a business firm. The results generally fail to confirm the existence of such differences.
 
Article
A variety of approaches to the design and use of on-line group decision support systems have been described and tested. This paper describes an on-line system to aid groups to identify rapidly and then explore their differences of opinion in debate in order to reach decisions. The approach involves a specially designed group decision support system, called TEAMWORKER. Case-studies describing uses of the system in varied contexts are presented. The experiences of these applications are linked with existing theoretically orientated literature from a number of associated fields in order to construct a process framework as a guide to users of this type of approach.
 
Article
This article discusses a number of common interpretations of ‘implementation’ in the literature, and how these have been confused. Various different levels of implementation are then discussed, including the concept of model effectiveness. This is concerned with both the operational effectiveness of the model, as shown by a tangible improvement in the system modelled, and the personal effectiveness in helping users learn more about the system itself. Research is then described to explore various aspects of model usage and effectiveness. The research took place in the context of a business game used by a large number of practising managers. An unusual feature of the game was the fact that participants were offered the use of a number of models to aid their decisions. The usage of the models, and their effects, were measured objectively. Results showed that models were used extensively, and their effects were advantageous in a number of ways. The implications of this work are discussed.
 
Article
Existing world models are criticized for the omission of feedback effects. Modifications to existing models are considered implausible, and a very simple structure representing the system by stocks and flows of energy is proposed. The planning implications of such simple models are explored in terms of risk evaluation. The analysis of a possible risk situation yields a dimensionless quantity relating capital investment, depletion rate, investment fraction and efficiency. This quantity is shown to be critical in determining the existence of discontinuities in the growth curve, independent of the desired level of growth.
 
Article
This article describes the EC-EFOM 12C model in general and refers where possible to existing documentation. It also reports on the first completed experimental case study and on planned future analysis. This model was developed in one of the research programs undertaken by the European Commission aimed primarily at multinational studies. Data are obtained from research carried out by an interactive network of national implementation teams working with a central group at the Commission. The energy system used is an oriented network carrying the primary energy over intermediate stages till finally meeting consumers' demand. The numerical information, constituting the attributes that characterise the various energy transformation processes, is stored in the European energy data base. About 225 transformation processes distributed over 17 subsystems characterised for six time periods up till 2020 for all EC countries are involved. The management of the data base is performed by an interactive software and this data base is designed for use in simulation studies and for linear programming optimisation with various objective functions. The model has been used in a parallel case study to explore substitution possibilities between an investment policy reducing the primary energy imports and one where these investments are restrained at the cost of having to import more primary energy. Results are shown and briefly discussed. Finally the relationship of this EFOM 12C model with the other EC models developed in the same research subprogram is outlined.
 
Article
Environmental issues have become critical concerns of businesses in recent years. The Singapore Environment Ministry is urging organizations to consider adopting the ISO 14000 Environmental Management Standards. The main purpose of this study was to investigate and identify a number of variables which would be able to predict the motivation of organizations in adopting the ISO 14000 Standards. Through extensive literature search eight possible predictive variables/factors (cost savings, top management concern, employee welfare, meeting environmental regulations, meeting customer expectations, concern over trade barriers, following head office environmental practices, and gaining competitive advantages) were identified. In total, 300 pre-tested survey questionnaires were mailed out to companies from the Electronic and Chemical industries in Singapore. A response rate of about 20% was obtained. The survey instrument was tested for reliability and validity. Using stepwise discriminant analysis, a predictive discriminant function was developed. Only four out of the originally identified eight variables were included in the model. Possible benefits of such a model for Singapore and other industrializing countries are highlighted.
 
Article
The historical patterns of the entry and exit of makes in the automobile industries of France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States are examined. The findings, covering over 3000 makes of passenger vehicle, show great similarities in these patterns, despite the substantial inter-country differences in market size, economic conditions and institutional arrangements. The results justify the conclusion that the evolution of basic technologies, as described in a number of theoretical and empirical studies, is the most important force in shaping the long-term development of industries and markets.
 
Article
The paper investigates excesses and deficits in Chinese industrial productivity for the years (1953–1990), by combining data envelopment analysis (DEA) with other management science approaches. Improvement factors are examined with the incorporation of a priori information through Delphi, AHP and assurance region (AR) techniques. Various multiple input and multiple output sets are selected to study overall performance, industrial development, and product-related efficiency of Chinese industry. The application also identifies factors that affect the productivity of China’s industry in a positive or negative way, i.e., simultaneously identifies both excesses and deficits. Furthermore, the impact of economic reforms and five-year plans is discussed. The current study demonstrates that DEA can be combined with other methods to yield more valid results, insights and recommendations such as: (1) Chinese industrial productivity increased as a result of the five-year plans; (2) the economic reforms changed the behaviour of the enterprises; (3) efficient and effective targets within the industrial development plans can be set, and corrections and revisions can be made; and (4) enterprises should be given more decision-making autonomy in production as well as investment.
 
Article
The subject considered in this paper is the building of an econometric model of the demand for alcoholic beverages in Finland. The aim is to develop a model which satisfies various theoretical, statistical and prognostic criteria and which is easy to interpret. Comparisons are made with the models made for the UK by McGuinness, Walsh and Duffy and attention is drawn to their shortcomings. The final model is a semilogarithmic model in a difference form which has good prognostic properties.
 
Article
Changes in the occupational structure could arise from different rates of output, and hence employment, growth in sectors of engineering or from changes in the occupational mix of the sectors. Almost all the change arises from the latter and, more importantly, the rate of change is not constant. Changes in the sector occupational mix will follow from investment and an understanding of this relationship is crucial to progress in manpower demand forecasting.
 
Article
This paper is concerned with the financial objectives of mergers and acquisitions and the way in which considerations in the merger transaction, such as the price paid and the method of payment used, may affect such objectives subsequent to the merger. The analysis is based on a sample of 65 mergers during the years 1968-70 inclusive [2].
 
Article
Fossil fuels are an important source of energy for Ontario Hydro and purchases exceed $100 million per year. This paper describes a computer simulation of the inventory situation over an eight-year period, which is being used to assess the relationship between order flexibility and the target carry-over stocks at the beginning of each shipping season. A simple way of presenting the results for management evaluation is illustrated. Variations of the model are used to assess random influences, such as strikes, and to determine the economic balance between holding costs and stock-outs.
 
Article
The paper proposes a framework to map the development of management science (MS) and uses it to survey the MS literature published in Omega, the International Journal of Management Science. The management science discourse over the last 35 years is mapped in four paradigms: (1) optimisation/normative; (2) interpretative/learning; (3) critical; and (4) a post-modern management science approach. Using a set of keywords and authors' names associated with the main features of each MS discourse, articles published between 1973 and 2008 are grouped. Results seem to suggest that Omega, a US-based journal, has been mainly developing publications under the optimisation paradigm; only very few papers adhering to the interpretative/learning and critical paradigms have been given space in Omega. The handful of papers from the interpretative paradigm are seen as attempts of UK-based academics to open some space for 'soft' operational research (OR) or 'problem structuring methods' in a positivistic outlook that seems to pervade US management science practice. Results of the survey and features of MS literature published in Omega are discussed. The paper aims to raise awareness amongst management scientist, systems and operational researchers of the differences between the MS/OR practice in both countries.
 
Article
This article briefly surveys the changes in taxation and capital investment allowances introduced in the 1984 Finance Act and discusses their likely impact on the role of investment and also the practical problems faced by investment decision-makers during the transition period. The authors present an investment appraisal model supported by a computer programme, designed to evaluate projects under a régime of varying tax rates and capital allowances. The model is applied to a 'standard project' to demonstrate the impact of the recent taxation changes on the profitability of investment in plant and machinery. Generally, the impact is to reduce the post-tax profitability of such investment save for exceptionally attractive ventures.
 
Article
This paper examines the judgments (part of a multi-million pound government-sponsored resource allocation exercise) made by a panel of experts about the research rating of UK business schools during 1988–1992. We use policy capture to determine, and critically evaluate, how business schools were judged. We suggest methods to improve the process of judgment-principally, using DEA as an idealized model whereby the judged institutions judge themselves, consistent with policy constraints.
 
Article
The purpose of ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System (QMS) is to provide businesses with a model to grow systematically while assuring the quality of their products. The validity of ISO 9001:2000 QMS stems, largely, from the fact that the best minds worldwide have contributed to its development and maintenance, and the fact that many companies have reported real business gains because of its implementation. Unfortunately, many small businesses fail to survive due to the absence or lack of adequate system for managing quality. An obvious recommendation would be to implement ISO 9001:2000 QMS. Nevertheless, small businesses often cite lack of resources and time as the main reasons for not implementing ISO 9001:2000 QMS.This article proposes a framework for an effective and economical implementation of the ISO 9001:2000 QMS in small businesses. Unlike the traditional one-shot approach to ISO 9001:2000 implementation, the proposed framework is built on four premises, utilizing an incremental approach that considers the specific characteristics of small businesses.
 
Article
Khouja and Park [1] analyze the problem of optimizing the lot size under continuous price decrease. They show that the classic EOQ formula can lead to far from optimal solutions and develop an alternative lot size formula using the software package Mathematica. This formula is more exact, but also more complicated. In this note, we study the net present value formulation of the model, and thereby gain an insight that leads to the proposal of a modified EOQ formula. The modified EOQ formula, albeit not as accurate, is a good alternative to the formula developed by Khouja and Park, especially if mathematical complexity may hamper implementation.
 
Article
In this paper, three critical issues with the paper "A fuzzy set approach for R&D portfolio selection using a real options valuation model", coauthored by Wang and Hwang and published in Omega 2007 are addressed. Shortcomings of the original work are highlighted and corrective measures to improve the approach are proposed.
 
Research model.  
Results of factor analysis with VARIMAX rotation of the questionnaire items combined with descriptive statistics of the constructs 
LISREL analysis of the research model showing standardized coecients.  
Article
Familiarity is a precondition for trust, claims Luhmann [28: Luhmann N. Trust and power. Chichester UK: Wiley, 1979. (translation from German)], and trust is a prerequisite of social behavior, especially regarding important decisions. This study examines this intriguing idea in the context of the E-commerce involved in inquiring about and purchasing books on the Internet. Survey data from 217 potential users support and extend this hypothesis. The data show that both familiarity with an Internet vendor and its processes and trust in the vendor influenced the respondents' intentions to inquire about books, and their intentions to purchase them. Additionally, the data show that while familiarity indeed builds trust, it is primarily people's disposition to trust that affected their trust in the vendor. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
 
Article
Mass customization in production and operations management, a process of integrating mass production/standardization principles with customization, seems to be gaining momentum in the United States as well as all over the world. Major companies like Dell, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Proctor and Gamble, and others are experimenting and also effectively implementing this process in their production and operations facilities. Mass production and customization have traditionally been at the two opposite extremes of the production continuum. However, integrating these together as mass customization seems to be the practice of the present with the strong likelihood that it would be a continued trend of the future. This paper explores the concept of mass customization, focuses on methods to achieve mass customization, explains why it is not an oxymoron but a reality, looks at the advantages and disadvantages, and discusses how it may be effectively used in production and operations management.a
 
Article
Within the last 10 years, technological advances have allowed personal wireless communications to become part of our global, information-centric culture. Cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, and wireless computer networks allow for tetherless use anytime and almost anywhere. These wireless communication advances have quickly matured through three technological generations. Currently, wireless communications are considered to be in the third generation (3G) of deployment and are rapidly approaching the fourth (4G). As these wireless technologies advance to meet market demand, careful pre-market technical analysis of these new capabilities must be made to understand potential impact on existing communication systems. This paper provides a novel examination into the effects of 4G ultrawide band (UWB) signaling on a 3G wireless fidelity (WiFi) system. Through empirical and statistical analyses, we show that the throughput performance of the Wi-Fi system can be negatively impacted by up to 20%. We conclude that careful implementation of emerging 4G UWB systems must occur to mitigate the detriments to existing 3G communication systems.
 
Article
For a given graph (network) having costs [cij] associated with its links, the present paper examines the problem of finding a cycle which traverses every link of the graph at least once, and which incurs the minimum cost of traversal. This problem (called thegraph traversal problem, or theChinese postman problem [9]) can be formulated in ways analogous to those used for the well-known travelling salesman problem, and using this apparent similarity, Bellman and Cooke [1] have produced a dynamic programming formulation. This method of solution of the graph traversal problem requires computational times which increase exponentially with the number of links in the graph. Approximately the same rate of increase of computational effort with problem size would result by any other method adapting a travelling salesman algorithm to the present problem.
 
Article
The current interest in innovations has led to the initiation of a number of activities all over the world aimed at increasing the flow of ideas for new products and pursuing their development into useful results. In Scandinavia two large national contests have recently been completed, SWEDE-INNOVATION 81 [1] and NORDINNOVATION 83. This report summarizes some of the results and conclusions from the last mentioned project. The use of a contest to publicize the search for product ideas and to encourage widespread participation by inventors is not new; it has been tried many times. However, little is known about the results, the effects, the methods used, the cost of running it and many other essential details. A report on NORDINNOVATION 83 is felt to be of interest.
 
Article
This paper estimates the industry and job effects at both the national and state levels of the two major acid rain control bills introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate during the 99th Congress. We find that expenditures to reduce acid deposition result in significant stimulation to US Industry and that jobs created by such expenditures are predominantly for American workers. In addition, we find that the economic effects for most states, including many midwestern and Appalachian states, are positive. Our findings cast doubt on the widespread notion that programs designed to control and diminish acid rain damage US industry in general, and in particular, do serious harm to midwestern and Appalachian states.
 
Article
The contribution of the Utterback and Abernathy model is reviewed from the point of view of methodology; then its feasibility is tested with United Kingdom multivariate data on innovation covering many industries. Although some aspects of innovation are confirmed, some facts that do not fit the model suggest that it might be a building block but still fails to give an integrative framework to understand innovation.
 
Article
This paper builds upon the theoretical framework developed by Zahra and George [Absorptive capacity: a review, reconceptualization, and extension. Academy of Management Review 2002;27:185-203] to empirically explore the antecedents of potential absorptive capacity (PAC), i.e. the ability to identify and assimilate external knowledge flows. Based on a sample of 2464 innovative Spanish firms, we find evidence that R&D cooperation, external knowledge acquisition and experience with knowledge search are key antecedents of a firm's PAC. Also, during periods of important internal reshaping, when there are significant changes in strategy, design of the organization and marketing, firms exert more effort to accumulate PAC. Finally, we find that PAC is a source of competitive advantage in innovation, especially in the presence of efficient internal knowledge flows that help reduce the distance between potential and realized capacity.
 
Article
State intervention to establish, develop and retain particular industrial sectors in the world economy is widespread, often stimulated by the perceived threat to sovereignty posed by foreign based macro-industrial enterprises. The paper examines a particular form of such intervention, known as offset, which is widely used in major purchases of aerospace products. In this the State, in consideration of such a purchase from a foreign based company, requires that a proportion of the contract value be placed as work in its own related manufacturing sector. Current examples of how widespread and complex these have become are given and analysed by reference to a matrix of possible types of offset and levels of industrial development of the purchasing State. On the assumption that the efficient diffusion of appropriate industrial capabilities to all nations of the world is a desirable goal, the use and abuse of offset to this end is discussed and conclusions drawn.
 
Article
In many environments, salary increments consist of two parts: an 'across the board' component and a 'merit' component. These increments are usually funded from a wages pool which rarely bears any relationship to overall increases in productivity. The resulting competition for limited monies results in two forms of behavior: productive and predatory (or rent seeking). This paper develops a model which considers institutionally controllable variables and their influence on these behaviors in an academic environment. It is found that an increase in a wages fund will not necessarily lead to an increase in either total or productive faculty effort.
 
Article
A quantitative analysis of innovation activity and its relation to traditional academic activity at Chalmers University of Technology is presented. A list of 14 yardsticks of faculty performance is given and compared with the innovation activities. A description of the steadily increasing patent application and spin-off company activity at Chalmers is presented. The undergraduate grades of spin-off company founders are compared with those of non-founders. The average grades in the two groups are very similar, but the spreads in grades of the individual students in the two groups are significantly different. Spin-off company founders tend to have a wider spread in grades than non-founders. A study of science citations vs patent applications for 44 researchers/inventors at Chalmers reveals a strong positive rank correlation between these two activities.
 
Article
A great number of papers have been published that compare the quality or impact of academic journals. This article seeks to broaden the debate on journal evaluation by showing how top journals in various academic business disciplines, as defined by the Financial Times list of top research outlets, relate to one other. Using large-scale sociometric analyses on about 140,000 citations we found that the integration of the citation network has increased over time. Moreover, the information flow from Finance and Economics to Management has become stronger and, within Management, a polarization between information generators and users has taken place. We also found that most business academics published in distinct and mostly non-overlapping disciplines. The only exceptions were Finance and Economics as well as Strategic Management and OB/HR. Surprisingly, we also found that the general business journals, which could be assumed to be cited by most other journals across the management disciplines, are not central to the entire field. For instance, they are not complementary at all to Finance and Economics. Instead, Operations Research (OR) and Management Information Systems journals occupy the central space on the perceptual map. This indicates that these disciplines (and OR in particular) are complementary with Management and with Finance and Economics.
 
Article
An operational two-stage expert system is built with rule induction. The first stage examines the admission decision process for applicants to an MBA program, while the second stage focuses on the prognosis for degree completion for those actually admitted. It is this performance prediction capability that is submitted as the major contribution of the system. While given the opportunity to make use of personal demographic variables that would be suggestive of discriminatory academic policies, the system's pattern recognition algorithm established an optimal rule structure based solely upon academic and professional backgrounds. This induced rule structure was found to be consistent with all cases in the training subset; the rules were then validated on an independent hold out sample.
 
Article
The channels for knowledge generation and dissemination in the business disciplines are many: presenting research at conferences, writing books, distributing working papers, offering insights in society newsletters, giving invited talks, publishing studies in academic journals, and many other venues, including even blogs and perhaps Facebook®. But the most important venue is probably published research in "top-level" academic journals. In the discipline of Operations Management, many studies and lists have been published that attempt to determine which of these journals are supposedly the "top" according to either citation analyses, the opinion of recognized experts, author affiliations, bibliometric studies, and other approaches. These lists may then, in turn, be used in different degrees to evaluate research. However, what really counts is what the academic institutions actually use for guidance in evaluating faculty research. Based on a new source of ranking data from AACSB-accredited schools, we compare published journal-ranking studies against that of academe to determine the degree to which the studies reflect academic "reality". We present rankings of OM journals based on this new source of data and on an aggregate of the stream of published studies, and evaluate their consistency.
 
Article
We address here the problem of assigning undergraduate students to academic major areas at a Middle-Eastern business school, which is quite different from what one usually faces in the West. Our formulation considers the student's preference in the light of his/her performance in certain bellwether courses and various practical constraints in arriving at an initial solution. We present a linear program that maximizes the overall value of the assignments to the students as well as the academic units concerned. We show through a real example how this approach has been implemented as one step in the major-assignment process.
 
Article
Numerous studies published in the academic literature address the issue of journal quality. However, little has been done to evaluate the broad set of journals pertinent to academic research in the decision and management sciences. This study examines the quality of such journals from a US point of view using both survey- and citation-based measures of journal quality. The survey-based measure is the perceived quality ratings assigned by US academics in the management science field. The citation-based measure is the impact factor, an indication of how often the articles in a journal are cited. This study finds that perceived quality ratings of the journals are positively correlated with citation impact factors. Also, both of these quality measures are found to be positively correlated with journal circulation and negatively correlated with acceptance rate. Journal quality ratings appear to vary across reviewers with different research interest areas and reviewers seem to rate journals higher if they have published in them.
 
Article
The authors have identified 350 articles written and published on Decision Support Systems (DSS) since 1970. 77.3% of those articles were published between January 1980 and November 1983. Many critics see this sudden surge in the DSS literature as no more than a fad and the term itself as no more than a label. This paper examines the reasons behind the emergence of DSS in the light of this sudden surge in the DSS literature and seeks to determine whether DSSs are unique or merely a repackaging of Management Science/Operational Research and Management Information systems.
 
Article
This paper addresses the task of estimating the kind of aspirations that are most likely to have given rise to an observed partial rank ordering of alternatives. The proposed approach uses a Tchebycheff goal programming formulation to serve as a descriptive model of choice and stochastic multicriteria acceptability analysis to generate candidate aspiration vectors and estimate the true aspiration vector from this candidate set. A simulation experiment is used to assess the accuracy of the estimated aspiration levels in a variety of problem contexts. The approach can perform well if strong performance is demanded on a small subset of the attributes and the rank order that is observed is sufficiently detailed.
 
Article
Modern elevator systems in high-rise buildings consist of groups of elevators with centralized control. The goal in elevator planning is to configure a suitable elevator group to be built. The elevator group must satisfy specific minimum requirements for a number of standard performance criteria. In addition, it is desirable to optimize the configuration in terms of other criteria related to the performance, economy and service level of the elevator group. Different stakeholders involved in the planning phase emphasize different criteria. Most of the criteria measurements are by nature uncertain. Some criteria can be estimated by using analytical models, while others, especially those related to the service level in different traffic patterns, require simulations.In this paper we formulate the elevator planning problem as a stochastic discrete multicriteria decision-making problem. We compare 10 feasible elevator group configurations for a 20-floor building. We evaluate the criteria related to the service level in different traffic situations using the KONE Building Traffic Simulator, and use analytical models and expert judgments for other criteria. The resulting decision problem contains mixed type criteria. Some criteria are represented by the multivariate Gaussian distribution, others by deterministic values and ordinal (ranking) information. To identify configurations that can best satisfy the goals of the stakeholders, we analyze the problem using the stochastic multicriteria acceptability analysis (SMAA) method.
 
Article
We consider problems where multiple decision makers (DMs) want to choose their most preferred alternative from a finite set based on multiple criteria. Several approaches to support DMs in such problems have been suggested. Prospect theory has appealed to researchers through its descriptive power, but rare attempts have been made to apply it to support multicriteria decision making. The basic idea of prospect theory is that alternatives are evaluated by a difference function in terms of gains and losses with respect to a reference point. The function is suggested to be concave for gains and convex for losses and steeper for losses than for gains. Stochastic multicriteria acceptability analysis (SMAA) is a family of multicriteria decision support methods that allows representing inaccurate, uncertain, or partly missing information about criteria measurements and preferences through probability distributions. SMAA methods are based on exploring the weight and criteria measurement spaces in order to describe weights that would result in a certain rank for an alternative. This paper introduces the SMAA-P method that combines the piecewise linear difference functions of prospect theory with SMAA. SMAA-P computes indices that measure how widely acceptable different alternatives are with assumed behavior. SMAA-P can be used in decision problems, where the DMs’ preferences (weights, reference points and coefficients of loss aversion) are difficult to assess accurately. SMAA-P can also be used to measure how robust a decision problem is with respect to preference information. We demonstrate the method by reanalyzing a past real-life example.
 
Top-cited authors
David Gefen
  • Drexel University
Thompson S.H. Teo
  • National University of Singapore
Kee-hung Lai
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Joe Zhu
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Muhammad Nawaz
  • University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila