**A.V.Lotov, V.A.Bushenkov, G.K.Kamenev, and O.L.Chernykh **

Moscow: Nauka Publishers, 1997, 240 p., in Russian

Publishing of the book was supported by the Russian Academy of Sciences

(c) A.V.Lotov, V.A.Bushenkov, G.K.Kamenev, and O.L.Chernykh, 1997

Back to Group on Visualization-based MCDM techniques

You may want to download the book (in Russian) for free. SYNOPSIS and CONTENTS have been prepared for those who prefer to read in English.

The book is devoted to a new graphic computer technique which helps to find out smart strategies solving economic and environmental problems. The technique develops the ideas of the goal method and of the multiple criteria decision making.

Applying the goal programming methods, one often meets a difficulty related to the fact that identified goals (i.e. combinations of decision-related criterion values) aren't feasible. Indeed, if the identified goal is distant from the variety of feasible goals, the feasible combination of criterion values may disappoint a decision maker. Moreover, this combination may depend more upon the parameters of the distance function than on the identified goal and therefore disregard the preferences of decision maker.

To solve this problem, we display the variety (the set) of feasible goals. Only then, decision maker is proposed to identify the preferable feasible goal (the Feasible Goals Method). The strategy is computed automatically on the basis of the goal.

The display of the feasible goals set is based on application of the new computer-based technique, the Interactive Decision Maps (the IDM), developed for the exploration of problems with conflicting criteria. The objective information on decision situation is displayed in a clear graphical form of decision maps: several efficiency frontiers (tradeoff curves) among two criteria related to restrictions imposed on the value of the third criterion are depicted. Changing one frontier for another, one can see how the increment (or decrement) of the third criterion influences the efficiency frontier. By this, a decision map helps to understand the tradeoff among three criteria. The curves on a modified decision map look like the height contours of a usual geographical map, and so one can understand them quite easily.

The IDM techniques is an interactive tool for fast display of various decision maps for three, four, five and more criteria. Actually, the IDM techniques can display myriad of virtual decision maps by request. This is done on the basis of preliminary approximation of the feasible goals set or the Edgeworth-Pareto Hull (EPH) of it. To display numerous virtual decision maps, we use matrices of maps, scroll-bars and animation of maps, i.e. the display of automatically generated sequences of maps. By this, anyone may receive information about the potentialities of choice and tradeoffs among the criteria in a simple graphic form. The IDM helps to identify the preferable feasible goal by a simple click of mouse, i.e. to implement the Feasible Goals Method (FGM) practically.

It is important that the FGM/IDM technique results in a graphic colorful computer software which can be easily assessed by any person. For this reason, the FGM may be used as a basis for a new type of INTERNET resources providing objective independent information about feasible strategies for the solution of environmental and economic problems. Moreover, the FGM/IDM technique may be used in INTRANET and other computer networks for the support of group and collaborative decision making as well as for negotiations support.

The FGM and its applications are described in the book. The book is written in a simple form assessable for any computer-literate person. It may be used by university students of a diverse range of specialties.

INTRODUCTION. The problems of application of new computer technologies for decision and negotiation support are discussed. The opportunities provided by computer networks are considered and the potential role of the FGM in the framework of them is outlined.

CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION INTO THE FEASIBLE GOALS METHOD. The method is introduced on the basis of several simple models. Then, an example model of regional environmentally sound economic development is explored by the FGM.

CHAPTER 2. BALANCED ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGIES. Examples of the application of the FGM method in environmental topics are given. The following problems and software systems are discussed:

- hypothetical problem of sea dumping of sluges in the Lower bight of the New York City,
- problem of agricultural development of a small region in the Netherlands taking the water quality and the water quantity problems into account,
- decision support system for environmental engineers developing the water quality plans for Russian rivers,
- negotiation support system for development of international strategies for atmosphere pollution abatement (exemplified by the case of Finland, Russia and Estonia),
- demo version of computer support for developing smart response strategies to global environmental problems (exemplified by the greenhouse effect).

CHAPTER 3. VISUALIZATION OF EFFICIENT GOALS IN ECONOMIC TOPICS. Application of the FGM technique for exploration of various economic models is considered:

- development of strategies for long-time growth of a national economy taking social and environmental issues into account (on the basis of an aggregated model of economic growth),
- development of feasible national economic-social goals and strategies for a medium time period (on the basis of a dynamic input-output model),
- development of strategies of international trade (on the basis of a static input-output model of the world trade),
- development of strategies of short-time regulation of a market economy (on the basis of an econometric model),
- development of strategies of economic reform in Russia (on the basis of a structured macro-economic model).

CHAPTER 4. METHODOLOGICAL PROBLEMS OF THE FGM. The chapter consists of seven sections in which the following topics are discussed:

- Interactive and Animated Decision Maps as well as their combination with the multimedia, virtual reality, geographical information systems and other new computer technologies,
- psychology of decision making, mental models and their modification,
- developing the technical projects with the FGM: supersonic aircraft example,
- FGM-based methodology for integrated assessment of environmental problems,
- application of the FGM technique in negotiation processes,
- identification of systems with the FGM technique,
- application of the FGM in computer networks.

CHAPTER 5. MATHEMATICAL BASIS OF THE FGM TECHNIQUE. Mathematical topics related to the computer implementation of the FGM technique are discussed in short. This section was included into the non-mathematical book to provide software engineers with the understanding of opportunities and limitations of the FGM technique. The FGM technique is based on algorithms for numerical approximating the feasible goals set and on algorithms for displaying the Interactive and Animated Decision Maps. Algorithms are described in a simplified form. The chapter includes the following sections:

- algorithms based on the convolution of liner inequalities due to Fourier,
- algorithms based on the approximating of convex bodies by polytops,
- algorithms based on the essential covering of non-convex sets by systems of simple figures,
- algorithms for approximating the Edgeworth-Pareto Hulls,
- algorithms for displaying the decision maps,
- algorithms of the FGM technique in the case of dynamic systems.

CONCLUSION. THE FGM TECHNIQUE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21st CENTURY. Here, the future active tools of electronic mass media for independent development of public strategies are outlined.