Some of the significant features in our era include the design of large scale systems, the prevalence of large data-sets, numerous advancements in medicine; healthcare; and public policy, and the presence of multiple stakeholders with multiple objectives and incentives structures. A unifying theme that arises in these areas is the need for sound decision making. This talk will present some of the state-of-the-art research in one of the foundational aspects of decision making: the accurate representation of preferences and trade-offs using a multi-attribute utility function.
The new methods include an expansion theorem for multi-attribute utility functions; the multi-attribute utility diagram; utility copula functions, and methods for deriving the trade-offs by asserting the number of preference switches that may occur for lotteries on a subset of the attributes as the level of the remaining attributes varies. This talk will also include ongoing research projects in engineering design with NASA, as well as the creation of the decision making social-network, Ahoona.