Preference Models of Environmental Impact

Keeney RL (1976). Preference Models of Environmental Impact. IIASA Research Memorandum. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RM-76-004

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Abstract

Environmental problems usually involve multiple conflicting objectives, large uncertainties concerning the possible environmental impact, and several individuals or groups whose preferences are very different, but yet very important in choosing an alternative. If one wishes to influence the decision making process using analysis, the above issues should be addressed. One critical aspect, which is usually conducted informally, involves weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the possible impacts of the various alternatives by each of the interested parties.

A multiattribute utility model, called a utility function, quantifies the preferences of an interested party in a manner convenient for integration with an impact model, so that formal evaluation of the alternatives is logical and straightforward. Using the utility functions of the various interested individuals and groups, it is possible to examine the different preference structures and their implications to illuminate the conflicts, focus the discussion, generate creative alternatives, and promote constructive compromises.

In this paper, the basic ideas of multiattribute utility are presented and placed in the context of a decision making framework. The manner in which it aids the analysis of environmental issues is discussed. Several problems having environmental components in which multiattribute utility was used are surveyed. These include siting nuclear power facilities, developing fisheries, controlling a forest pest, examining energy policy, and transporting hazardous materials.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Memorandum)
Research Programs: System and Decision Sciences - Core (SDS)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:43
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2016 07:36
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/680

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