Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: Environmental Applications and Case Studies

1st Edition

Igor Linkov, Emily Moberg

CRC Press
Published March 29, 2017
Reference - 204 Pages - 112 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138072510 - CAT# K33814
Series: Environmental Assessment and Management

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Summary

Environmental management is often complicated and multidisciplinary and the issues that arise can be difficult to solve analytically. Often, decision makers take ad hoc approaches, which may result in the ignoring of important stakeholder opinions or decision criteria. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) provides a framework by which these types of decisions can be made but, despite being used effectively in many fields, it is not often used in environmental management.

Given the novelty and inherent applicability of this decision making framework to the environmental field, there is a need for more teaching tools for MCDA. In particular, there is a need for a case study based approach to help readers navigate the many MCDA methods and decide how to apply them to a specific case.

Through a collection of case studies, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: Environmental Applications and Case Studies gives readers the tools to apply cutting-edge MCDA methods to their own environmental projects. It offers an overview of the types of MCDA available and a conceptual framework of how it is applied, with the focus on its applicability for environmental science.

Taking an in-depth look at the case of sediment management, the book introduces different steps of MCDA processes—from problem formulation and model development to criteria weighing and alternative scoring. The authors then explore the case using various MCDA methods, which allows readers to see clearly how the methodologies differ and gain a better understanding of the mechanistic operation of the analysis.

A series of case studies in nanotechnology collectively demonstrate the application of MCDA in situations of high variability and uncertainty that require the integration of technical information and expert judgment—an area where MCDA clearly shines. The authors describe multiple decisions—from risk classification to value of information analysis to the assessment of potential research and funding investments—that readers may face in dealing with emerging environmental threats.

Demonstrating the broad applicability of MCDA methods for different types of cases, the book presents a series of case studies ranging from oyster restoration to oil spill response. In conjunction with these cases, the book also provides corresponding decision models that are implemented by the DECERNS software and allow users to examine the same case using multiple MCDA tools. The DECERNS software and models are available for download at www.crcpress.com.

Intended both as a research and teaching tool, this book inspires creative thinking when applying MCDA to complicated environmental issues.

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