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Computational and Visual Tools for Geospatial Multi-Criteria Decision-Making
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Computer and Geospatial Sciences, Computer Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1452-2208
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Geospatial multi-criteria decision-making usually concerns quasi-continuous choice models, with the number of alternatives constrained only by the limits of the used representation model. This sets high demands on the decision-making methods used in the context. The most commonly used approach in geospatial decision-making is combining a method for assigning criteria weights with an aggregation method. As pairwise comparison of alternatives is not feasible when the number of alternatives is large, the weights are usually assigned to criteria without considering the values or the value ranges of the alternatives, an approach often criticized in the decision analysis literature. Apart from criteria weighting controversy, this approach does not allow for advanced use of interactive visualization in the choice phase of the decision-making process. In this thesis, two alternative methods for geospatial decision-making based on the even swaps method are developed. The first method relies on automation of swaps, which makes this method viable for decision problems with any number of alternatives. The second method emanates from the findings of behavioral decision theory, and combines even swaps with reduction of large data sets through quasi-satisficing, allowing for efficient use of interactive visualization in the choice phase of the decision process. Visualization frameworks for both methods are also developed in the thesis. They include both geo-specific representations, such as interactive maps, and infovis techniques such as graphs, diagrams, scatterplots and parallel coordinates. Two studies concerning the impact of interactive visualization on decision-making are presented in the thesis: a study concerning the impact of interactive visualization on geospatial decision-making, and a study concerning potential effects of visual saliency on decision-making. The results of the first study indicated positive effects of interactive visualization on coherency and consistency in performing trade-offs. The results of the second study show that visual saliency may help decision-makers make better decisions. The work presented in this thesis contributes to method development and the use of interactive visualization in the context of geospatial decision-making.

Abstract [sv]

Multikriterieanalys i geospatialt kontext avser oftast kvasi-kontinuerliga valmodeller,där antal alternativ endast definieras av gränserna av den användarepresentationsmodellen. Detta ställer höga krav på beslutsmetoder som användsi geospatialt sammanhang. Den ansats som oftast används är att kombineranågon kriterieviktningsmetod med en aggregeringsmetod. Eftersom det ärorimlig att utföra parvisa jämförelser av alternativ när antalet alternativ är stort,bestäms oftast kriterievikter utan att hänsyn tas till de faktiska värdena, ellervärdeintervallen – ett angreppssätt som ofta kritiserats i litteratur inom beslutsanalys.Detta angreppsätt gör det även svårt att använda avancerade interaktivavisualiseringar i beslutsfasen av beslutsprocessen. I denna avhandling hartvå alternativa metoder, baserade på even swaps, utvecklats för geospatial beslutsanalys.Den första metoden baseras på automatisering av swaps, vilket görden tillämpbar på beslutsproblem oavsett antal alternativ. Den andra metodenutgår från behavioristiska beslutsteorier och kombinerar even swaps med reduceringav stora datamängder genom s.k. quasi-satisficing. Båda metodernaär interaktiva, vilket gör dem lämpliga för effektiv användning av interaktivavisualiseringar i beslutsfasen av beslutsprocessen. I denna avhandling harockså visualiseringsramverk för de båda metoderna utvecklats. De inkluderarbåde geo-specifika representationer, dvs. interaktiva kartor, och visualiseringari form av bl. a. diagram, spridningsdiagram och parallella koordinater. I avhandlingenpresenteras två studier om effekten av interaktiv visualisering påbeslutsfattande: en studie om effekten av interaktiv visualisering på beslutsfattandei geospatial kontext, och en studie om effekter av visual saliency på beslutsfattande.Resultaten av den första studien indikerar att interaktiv visualiseringkan hjälpa beslutsfattaren göra mer koherenta och mer konsekventa avvägningar.Den andra studien indikerar att visual saliency kan ha positiv effektoch hjälpa beslutsfattaren att fatta bättre beslut. Forskningen presenterad idenna avhandling bidrar till utvecklingen av nya beslutsmetoder och effektivanvändning av interaktiv visualisering inom geospatial beslutsanalys.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gävle: Gävle University Press , 2020. , p. 78
Series
Doctoral thesis ; 13
Keywords [en]
geographic information systems, multi-criteria decision-making, interactive visualization, even swaps
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-31928ISBN: 978-91-88145-44-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-88145-45-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-31928DiVA, id: diva2:1394968
Public defence
2020-04-21, 13:111, Kungsbäcksvägen 37, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-03-24 Created: 2020-02-20 Last updated: 2020-04-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. GISwaps: A New Method for Decision Making in Continuous Choice Models Based on Even Swaps
Open this publication in new window or tab >>GISwaps: A New Method for Decision Making in Continuous Choice Models Based on Even Swaps
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Decision Support System Technology, ISSN 1941-6296, E-ISSN 1941-630X, Vol. 10, no 3, p. 57-78Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article describes how continuous GIS-MCDM problems are commonly managed by combining some weighting method based on pairwise comparisons of criteria with an aggregation method. The reliability of this approach may be questioned, though. First, assigning weights to criteria, without taking into consideration the actual consequences or values of the alternatives, is in itself controversial. Second, the value functions obtained by this approach are in most cases linear, which is seldom the case in reality. The authors present a new method for GIS-MCDM in continuous choice models based on Even Swaps. The method is intuitive and easy to use, based on value trade-offs, and thus not relying on criteria weighting. Value functions obtained when using the method may be linear or non-linear, and thereby are more sensitive to the characteristics of the decision space. The performed case study showed promising results regarding the reliability of the method in GIS-MCDM context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IGI Global, 2018
Keywords
Continuous Choice Models, Even Swaps, GIS-MCDM, Trade-Offs, Value Functions
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences Geotechnical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26576 (URN)10.4018/IJDSST.2018070104 (DOI)000455413900004 ()2-s2.0-85047766922 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-05-16 Created: 2018-05-16 Last updated: 2020-02-20Bibliographically approved
2. Visual GISwaps - an interactive visualization framework for geospatial decision making
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Visual GISwaps - an interactive visualization framework for geospatial decision making
2018 (English)In: Proceedings of the 13th International Joint Conference on Computer Vision, Imaging and Computer Graphics Theory and Applications, VISIGRAPP 2018, Funchal, Madeira - Portugal, January 27-29, 2018 / [ed] Alexandru Telea, Andreas Kerren and Jose Braz, SciTePress, 2018, p. 236-243Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Different visualization techniques are frequently used in geospatial information systems (GIS) to support geospatial decision making. However, visualization in GIS context is usually limited to the initial phase of the decision-making process, i.e. situation analysis and problem recognition. This is partly due to the choice of methods used in GIS multi-criteria decision-making (GIS-MCDM) that usually deploy some non-interactive approach, leaving the decision maker little or no control over the calculation of overall values for the considered alternatives; the role of visualization is thus reduced to presenting the final results of the computations. The contributions of this paper are twofold. First, we introduce GISwaps, a novel, intuitive interactive method for decision making in geospatial context. The second and main contribution is an interactive visualization of the choice phase of the decision making process. The visualization allows the decision maker to explore the consequences of trade-offs and costs accepted during the iterative decision process, both in terms of the abstract relation between different decision variables and in spatial context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SciTePress, 2018
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26580 (URN)10.5220/0006610202360243 (DOI)2-s2.0-85047934093 (Scopus ID)
Conference
International Conference on Information Visualization Theory and Applications (IVAPP '18), January 27-29, 2018, Funchal, Madeira - Portugal
Available from: 2018-05-16 Created: 2018-05-16 Last updated: 2020-02-20Bibliographically approved
3. The impact of interactive visualization on trade-off-based geospatial decision-making
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of interactive visualization on trade-off-based geospatial decision-making
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Geographical Information Science, ISSN 1365-8816, E-ISSN 1365-8824, Vol. 33, no 10, p. 2094-2123Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In a previous work we developed GISwaps, a novel method for geospatial decision-making based on Even Swaps. In this paper, we present the results of an evaluation of a visualization framework integrated with this method, implemented within a decision support system. This evaluation is based on two different studies. In the quantitative study, 15 student participants used GISwaps with no visual features, and 15 participants used GISwaps with the integrated visual framework, as the tool in a solar farm site location case study. The results of the quantitative evaluation show positive impact of the visualization in terms of increased coherency in trade-offs. The results also show a statistically significant difference in average trade-off values between the groups, with users from the non-visual group setting on average 20% higher trade-off values compared with the users in the visual group. In the qualitative study, we had one expert in GIS, two experts in decision-making and two experts in solar energy as a focus user group. Data in this study were obtained by observations and semi-structured interviews with the participants. The impact of the visualization framework was assessed positively by all participants in the expert group. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019
Keywords
GIS decision-making, GISwaps, interactive visualization, tradeoffs
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-30515 (URN)10.1080/13658816.2019.1613547 (DOI)000470448200001 ()2-s2.0-85065643312 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-08-19 Created: 2019-08-19 Last updated: 2020-02-20Bibliographically approved
4. Geospatial decision-making framework based on the concept of quasi-satisficing and even swaps
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geospatial decision-making framework based on the concept of quasi-satisficing and even swaps
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Decision-making methods used in geospatial decision-making are often computationally complex prescriptive methods, details of which are rarely transparent to the decision maker. However, having a deep understanding of the details and mechanisms of the applied method is a prerequisite for the efficient use thereof. In this paper, we present a novel decision-making framework that emanates from the need for intuitive and easy-to-use decision support systems for geospatial multi-criteria decision-making. The framework consists of two parts: the decision making model, and the interactive visualization framework. The decision-making model is based on the concept of quasi-satisficing, and as such, it is intuitive and easy to understand and apply. It integrates even swaps, a prescriptive decision-making method, with the findings of behavioural decision-making theories. Providing visual feedback and interaction opportunities throughout the decision-making process, the interactive visualization part of the framework helps the decision maker gain better insight into the decision space and attribute dependencies. Furthermore, it provides the means to analyse and compare the outcomes of different scenarios and decision paths.

Keywords
GIS-MCDM; interactive visualization; bounded rationality; quasi-satisficing; even swaps
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-31926 (URN)
Available from: 2020-02-20 Created: 2020-02-20 Last updated: 2020-02-21Bibliographically approved
5. Does visual saliency affect decision-making?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Does visual saliency affect decision-making?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keywords
decision-making, saliency, scatterplot matrices, parallel coordinates
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-31927 (URN)
Available from: 2020-02-20 Created: 2020-02-20 Last updated: 2020-02-21Bibliographically approved

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Milutinovic, Goran

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