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:

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

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

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:

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.