Centre for Operational Research and Logistics

Events and Seminars

Research Seminar

Feasibility vs. Optimality: Why do our smart decision analysis tools fail to advise policy?

The decision analysis science is not new. However, despite some successful cases, the results of our decision analysis models are not implemented in practice. This is mainly due to the fact that our models fail to capture the essential characteristics of decision making problems. Of course, all models are simplified representations of reality, full of limitations. However, often they are too simple and wrong to provide useful policy advice.

This presentation discusses the essential characteristics of group decision making problems which need to be considered by modelers in order to provide useful policy insights and develop feasible solutions. It is discussed why many of our multi-criteria and multi-objective decision making methods are not appropriate for multi-decision maker problems due to their inherent assumption of decision making based 'group rationality' rather than 'individual rationality'.

Different examples are provided and alternative decision analysis methods are introduced to highlight the need for changing the focus from the unachievable system's 'optimal' solution to a Pareto-inferior solution which is better than the status-quo and can be implemented in practice.


Dr Kaveh Madani, Imperial College London, UK


Burnaby Building, Room 4.04

Date and Time

Thu, 15 May 2014, 14:00 - 15:00 (BST)

For further information or any enquiries please contact our event co-ordinator, Jana Ries, at corl@port.ac.uk