Systems Management and Decision Making under Uncertainty

For a given large scale engineering project, a range of different decision technologies are usually required for systematically examining problems connected with the design, implementation and operation of the system. One component of this research is to put various types of decision making techniques into proper perspective and to develop connections among methods used in multiple participant-multiple criteria (MPMC), multiple participant-single criterion (MPSC) and single participant-multiple criteria (SPMC) decision making situations. Additionally, approaches are also being investigated for capturing the uncertainty aspects of decision making and risk analysis. For example, the information-gap model, which describes the difference between what one would like to know about a system and what one actually knows, is being expanded for use in water resources management, MCDA and conflict resolution.

Research on fair allocation of resources is also underway. Resource allocation problems are concerned with how limited resources should be distributed fairly among competing activities in the achievement of optimal performance of a complex system or system of systems, subject to environmental, societal, economic and physical constraints. Utilizing concepts from economics, ethics, hydrology, and cooperative game theory, a complex optimization approach called the Cooperative Water Allocation Model has recently been developed for equitably allocating fresh water among competing uses in a river basin with application to the Aral Sea and South Saskatchewan River Basins.