Practical dominance and process support in the even swaps method
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Practical dominance and process support in the Even Swaps method. Jyri Mustajoki Raimo P. Hämäläinen Systems Analysis Laboratory Helsinki University of Technology www.sal.hut.fi. Presentation outline. Introduction to the Even Swaps method Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa (1998, 1999)

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Practical dominance and process support in the Even Swaps method

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Practical dominance and process support in the even swaps method

Practical dominance and process support in the Even Swaps method

Jyri Mustajoki

Raimo P. Hämäläinen

Systems Analysis Laboratory

Helsinki University of Technology

www.sal.hut.fi


Presentation outline

Presentation outline

  • Introduction to the Even Swaps method

    • Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa (1998, 1999)

  • Two new techniques to support the method

    • New concept based on the PAIRS method

      • Salo and Hämäläinen (1992)

    • Aim to provide support for tasks needing mechanical scanning

  • Smart-Swaps software

    • The first software for supporting the method


Even swaps method

Even Swaps method

  • Multicriteria method to find the best alternative

  • Based on even swaps

    • Value trade-off, where the value change in one attribute is compensated in some other attribute

    • The alternative with these changed values is equally preferred to the initial one

       It can be used instead


Elimination process

Elimination process

  • Aim to carry out even swaps that make

    • Alternatives dominated

      • Some other alternative is equal or better than this one in every attribute, and better at least in one attribute

    • Attributes irrelevant

      • Every alternative has the same value on this attribute

         These can be eliminated

  • Process continues until one alternative (i.e. the best one) remains


Practical dominance

Practical dominance

  • If alternative x is better than alternative y in several attributes, but slightly worse in one attribute

     x practically dominates y

     ycan be eliminated

  • Aim to reduce the size of the problem in obvious cases

    • No need to carry out an even swap task


Example

25

78

Example

  • Office selection problem (Hammond et al. 1999)

Practically

dominated

by

Montana

Dominated

by

Lombard


Two new techniques

Two new techniques

  • Modeling of the practical dominance

  • Support for looking for efficient even swaps

  • New concept based on the PAIRS method

  • Aim to provide support for tasks needing mechanical scanning

    • Computer support to help in these tasks

  • For supporting the process – not for automating it


Pairs method

PAIRS Method

  • Additive value function

  • Imprecise statements by intervals on

    • Attribute weight ratios (e.g. 1  w1/ w2 5)

       Feasible region of the weights

    • Ratings of the alternatives (e.g. 0.6  v1(x1)  0.8)

       Intervals for overall values

    • Lower bound for the overall value of x:

    • Upper bound correspondingly


Pairwise dominance

Pairwise dominance

  • x dominates y in a pairwise sense if

    i.e. if the overall value of x is greater than the one of y with any feasible weights of attributes and ratings of alternatives


Modeling practical dominance

Modeling practical dominance

  • General constraints for the weight ratios and value functions

    • These should cover all the plausible weights and values

  • If x dominates y in a pairwise sense with these general constraints

     y can be seen as practically dominated


General constraints

vi(xi)

0

xi

General constraints

  • On weight ratios

  • On value functions

    • E.g. exponential value function constraints

    • Any value function within the constraints allowed

    • Additional constraints, e.g. for the slope

1


Use of even swaps information

Use of even swaps information

  • With each even swap the user reveals information about his/her preferences

  • This information can be utilized in the process

     Tighter weight ratio constraints elicited from the given even swaps

     Better estimates for practical dominances


Support for looking for efficient even swaps

Support for looking for efficient even swaps

  • Aim to carry out as few swaps as possible to eliminate alternatives or attributes

     Scanning through the consequences table

  • There may also be other objectives

    • E.g. easiness of the swaps

       Different types of suggestions of even swaps for the decision maker


Irrelevant attributes

Irrelevant attributes

  • Look for an attribute in which the most alternatives have the same value

     Carry out such even swaps that make the values of all the alternatives the same in this attribute

  • Compensation in attribute with which new dominances could also be obtained

    • Possible reduction also in the number of the alternatives


Dominated alternatives

Dominated alternatives

  • Look for such pair of alternatives, where dominance between these could be obtained with fewest swaps

    • E.g., if x outranks y only in one attribute, carry out an even swap that makes the values of these alternatives the same in this attribute

  • However, the ranking of the alternatives can change in compensating attribute

     We cannot be sure that the other alternative is dominated after the swap


Dominated alternatives1

Dominated alternatives

  • An estimate for each swap, how far we relatively are from dominance

    • The ratio between

      • The allowed value change in compensating attribute, and

      • The maximum estimated value change in this

        • Estimated from general constraints

    • d(y, x) = 'likelihood' of y dominating x after this even swap


Example1

Example

Initial Range:

85 - 50

A - C

950 - 500

1500 -1900

36 different options to carry out an even swap which may lead to dominance

E.g. change in Monthly Costs of Montana from 1900 to 1500:

Compensation in Client Access:

d(Mon, Bar) = ((85-78)/(85-50)) / ((1900-1500)/(1900-1500)) = 0.20

d(Mon, Lom) = ((85-80)/(85-50)) / ((1900-1500)/(1900-1500)) = 0.14

Compensation in Office Size:

d(Mon, Bar) = ((950-500)/(950-500)) / ((1900-1500)/(1900-1500)) = 1.00

d(Mon, Lom) = ((950-700)/(950-500)) / ((1900-1500)/(1900-1500)) = 0.56

(Assumptions: linear estimates for value functions; weight ratios = 1)


Use in practice

Use in practice

  • The proposed techniques assume an additive value function

    • Not explicitly assumed in the Even Swaps method

    • Can still be used approximatively

       Suggestions should be confirmed by the decision maker


Smart swaps software www smart swaps hut fi

Smart-Swaps softwarewww.smart-swaps.hut.fi

  • Support for the proposed approaches

    • Identification of practical dominances

    • Suggestions for even swaps

  • Additional support

    • Information about what may happen with each swap

    • Notification of dominances

    • Rank colors

    • Process history


Smart swaps software

Smart-Swaps software


Www decisionarium hut fi

www.Decisionarium.hut.fi

Software for different types of problems:

  • Smart-Swaps (www.smart-swaps.hut.fi)

  • Opinions-Online (www.opinions.hut.fi)

    • Global participation, voting, surveys & group decisions

  • Web-HIPRE (www.hipre.hut.fi)

    • Value tree based decision analysis and support

  • Joint Gains (www.jointgains.hut.fi)

    • Multi-party negotiation support

  • RICH Decisions (www.rich.hut.fi)

    • Rank inclusion in criteria hierarchies


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Techniques to support the even swaps process presented

    • Modeling the practical dominance

    • Support for looking for efficient even swaps

    • New concept based on the PAIRS method

  • Support for tasks needing mechanical scanning

    • Especially useful in large problems

  • Computer support needed in practice

    • Smart-Swaps software introduced


References

References

Hammond, J.S., Keeney, R.L., Raiffa, H., 1998. Even swaps: A rational method for making trade-offs, Harvard Business Review, 76(2), 137-149.

Hammond, J.S., Keeney, R.L., Raiffa, H., 1999. Smart choices. A practical guide to making better decisions, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

Mustajoki, J., Hämäläinen, R.P., 2003. Practical dominance and process support in the Even Swaps method. Manuscript. Downloadable soon at www.sal.hut.fi/Publications/

Salo, A., Hämäläinen, R.P., 1992. Preference assessment by imprecise ratio statements, Operations Research, 40(6), 1053-1061.

Applications of Even Swaps:

Gregory, R., Wellman, K., 2001. Bringing stakeholder values into environmental policy choices: a community-based estuary case study, Ecological Economics, 39, 37-52.

Kajanus, M., Ahola, J., Kurttila, M., Pesonen, M., 2001. Application of even swaps for strategy selection in a rural enterprise, Management Decision, 39(5), 394-402.


Value function constraints

Appendix

Value function constraints

  • Exponential value function constraint

    where

    a (0, 1)

    xN = (xi – mini) / (maxi – mini)

    vi(maxi)=0, vi(maxi)=1

    (here a=0.15)


Value function constraints1

Appendix

Value function constraints

  • Slope constraints

    where

    s (0, 1)

    x = (x'i – xi) / (maxi – mini)

    vi(maxi)=0, vi(maxi)=1

    (here s=0.5)


New constraints from the given trade offs

Appendix

New constraints from the given trade-offs

  • E.g. change xix'i is compensated with the change xjx'j

    • Assume an additive value function:

      wiv(xi) + wjv(xj) = wiv(x'i) + wjv(x'j)

    • General constraints for value functions

       New weight ratio constraint:


The use of practical dominance in practice

Appendix

The use of practical dominance in practice

  • Suggestions - not automatization

    • The user should confirm the dominances

  • Strict gereral constraints

     Smaller feasible region

     Alternatives may become incorrectly identified as dominated ones

  • Loose general costraints

     Larger feasible region

     Not as many dominances, but all these should be real ones


Estimate how far we are from dominance

Appendix

Estimate how far we are from dominance

  • Assume, e.g. that

    • The change xiyi (vi(xi) > vi(yi)) is compensated with the change xjx'j (vj(x'j) > vj(xj))

    • x'j should remain under yj to make y dominate x

  • The allowed value change in j:

     The maximum plausible value change in j:

    • Derived from general constraints in PAIRS


Estimate how far we are from dominance1

Appendix

Estimate how far we are from dominance

  • An estimate how close we are relatively to make y dominate x

    • The ratio between the allowed compensation and the maximum plausible value change

    • The bigger the ratio is, the better the dominance would be obtained

  • Strict constraints can also be used instead of intervals


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