Decision Network is a soft technology that derives from the idea about planning within complex urban systems and that helps planners make multiple, linked decisions, or plans, in the face of multiple actors with multi-attribute preferences at multiple levels.  The theoretical underpinnings of Decision Network derive from the garbage can model, strategic choice approach, and decision tree and are aimed at seeking the path to the optimal distribution of problems, solutions, and decision makers in a network of decision situations.

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Situations where Decision Network Can Help

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In general, Decision Network can help an individual to arrange daily activities interdependent of each other at a given time in his or her personal or professional life, so that he or she knows what to do among a number of activities and what actions to take over time.

 

Example 1: Selection of Courses

 

In deciding which courses to take in relation to other activities in a semester, a student can apply Decision Network to arrange these courses together with other activities.  For example, each course is a decision with options of taking or not taking and each activity is also a decision associated with a probability of occurrence.  Each course is associated with teachers and students (decision makers), a classroom (solution), and a conflicting schedule (problem).  After the student input the required information, Decision Network can generate a priority for the courses to take in the semester, with associated teachers, classrooms, and timetables.

 

Example 2: Managing a Company

 

Faced with a bewildering situation, the manager of a small company needs to figure out what actions to take among buying, selling, hiring, and budgeting decisions.  Each decision is interconnected with other ones and there is no clue which action to take first.  Decision Network can sort out these interdependent decisions regarding which meetings to attend, which tasks to assign to whom, and which money to be used when and where.

 

Example 3: Managing a local government

 

The city manager of a local government has many meetings to attend, many people to talk with, many problems to solve, and many resources to assign at the same time.  Faced with this complex situation, Decision Network can help the city manager to sort out these interdependent decision situations to decide which actions to take first in order to achieve things efficiently.  For example, Decision Network can guide him to initiate a public hearing by inviting relevant participants to deal with land use problems, in the light of other issues in relation to urban development.

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