International Journal of Decision Support Systems (10 papers in press)
Impact of a multi-criteria rating in e-commerce: the moderating effect of self-depletion on trust and purchase intention
by Virgile Schmit, Thierry Baccino
Abstract: Self-depletion is known to have a wide range of effects on the decision-making process. Two experimental studies investigate whether a purchase decision-making on an e-commerce product webpage is affected by the state of self-depletion when using a multi-criteria rating scale. A questionnaire was built to measure trust, distrust and purchase intention and was submitted to one hundred and twenty-two participants (categorised in two groups according to their self-depletion test) who have to judge different mp3 (Mpeg Audio Layer 3) players presented on a webpage. In both studies, the variance of ratings were investigated with the presence of a global rating (1st exp.) and the valence of the global rating (2nd exp.) of the products. Main results show that self-depletion moderated the effect of variance of the ratings on the judgment and also lead to a polarisation effect. Trust and purchase intention are highly correlated, while distrust is only loosely correlated to purchase intention, supporting the view of a dual trust-distrust construct, instead of a continuum.
Keywords: Electronic word-of-mouth; Self-Depletion; Trust; Purchase intention; Multi-dimensional rating; Multi-Criteria Decision Making.
SIM-UTA: Evaluating reorganization scenarios in a healthcare organization
by Panagiotis Manolitzas, Evangelos Grigoroudis, Nikolaos Matsatsinis, Athanasios Spyridakos
Abstract: Hospitals across the globe face the challenge to respond to public demand for more effective and transparent healthcare services. In order to optimize the services provided by hospital organizations, several methodological approaches have been developed in the operational research domain. The aim of this paper is to present a new methodology for the improvement of healthcare services in an emergency department of a hospital. The proposed SIM-UTA approach combines simulation techniques and MCDA tools (UTASTAR method) in order to help the management of the hospital to optimize specific aspects of the emergency departments operation. In order to illustrate the applicability of the methodological approach, a real-word case study in a Greek hospital is presented. The results show that the most important factor for the emergency department is the total length of stay, while the evaluation of several alternative reforms underline that the implementation of a fast track unit may give significant improvements. SIM-UTA may serve as a useful tools for decision support, taking into account several factor, like working loads, waiting times, length of stay etc.
Keywords: UTASTAR method; simulation; decision support; emergency department; hospitals.
A Decision Support System for Prevention and Costing of Occupational Injuries
by Marion S. Rauner, Michaela-Maria Schaffhauser-Linzatti, Johannes Bauerstätter, Bernhard Schwarz, Paul Harper, Klaus Wittig, Beate Mayer
Abstract: Shrinking budgets and decreasing economic growth force accident insurance institutions to focus on cost reduction programmes as well as on prevention measures. For this reason, we developed sophisticated decision support systems (DSSs) from 2001 to 2012 during three projects for the main of the four largest Austrian accident insurance institutions (Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, AUVA), to support their policy makers three-fold. First, we apply complex calculation schemes with an underlying population model to predict short-term and long-term occupational accident costs on an individual case basis for the AUVA using micro-simulation. Second, a further analysis of these costs allows AUVA policy makers to define risk groups which is essential to derive prevention programmes and their corresponding budgets (e.g., utilization of personal protective equipment, improvement of transportation safety, enhancement of safe driving). Third, we reveal possible improvements in collecting and structuring data for the AUVAs data warehouse for better forecasting of subsequent occupational accident costs and the underlying risk groups. Beyond the focus on AUVA interests, we integrated main cost components for companies where casualties are working (e.g., continued remuneration) and for the economy (loss in productivity for professional/non-professional work, sickness benefit). As a main result of our DSS for all three projects from 2001 to 2012, protection clothes or specific timing of working breaks decrease costly accidents. The results of the first two project periods (2001-2005) helped reduce risks of falling, while the third project (2011-2012) pointed out to focus on traffic injuries in the next years. In the future, AUVA should focus on prevention strategies in the following industries: preparatory site operations, building installation, and other finishing trades.
Keywords: Decision Support System; Occupational Injury Costs; Prevention; Micro-Simulation; Austria.
Special Issue on: Decision Support Systems in Commerce, Logistics and Transportation
Diving into online ratings to determine hotels improvement priorities
by Ioannis Zisos, Evangelos Grigoroudis, Nikolaos Matsatsinis, Athanasios Spyridakos
Abstract: Online ratings and reviews are currently considered as extremely effective tools for tourism professionals. Current research reveals that they affect, like no advertisement does, guests vacation decisions. In this paper we build on existing large scale-survey on customers ratings to explore the determinants of tourists satisfaction in different hotel categories. The application of the MUSA method to online reviews has resulted in valuable conclusions regarding the quality of provided services, the identification of factors that influence customers satisfaction, and the prioritization of improvement that can improve customers satisfaction levels. Data are taken from the popular hotel booking website Hotels.com and the case study examines available hotels in Chania, Greece. The final recommendations have been mainly based on the estimated global and partial value functions, the criteria weights, and the average satisfaction, demanding, and improvement indices, as provided by the MUSA method.
Keywords: online ratings; MUSA method; hotels; tourist satisfaction; multicriteria decision analysis.
Ground Enhancing Compound Selection Using Genetic Programming
by Konstantinos S. Boulas, Ioannis F. Gonos, Georgios D. Dounias, Ioannis A. Stathopulos
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to implement Genetic Programming (GP) methodologies for the modelling and estimation of ground resistance with the use of field measurements related to weather data. Grounding is essential for the safe operation of any electrical installation and protects it against lightning and fault currents. The work utilizes both, conventional and intelligent data analysis techniques, for ground resistance modelling. Experimental data consist of field measurements that have been performed in Greece during the previous four years. Five linear regression models have been applied to an appropriately selected dataset, as well as an intelligent approach based on Gene Expression Programming (GEP). The latter combines the advantages of Genetic Algorithms (GA) and Genetic Programming to avoid the coding explosion problem of GP with the use of simple genetic operations as GA. Every model corresponds to a particular grounding system. A heuristic approach using GEP was performed to produce more robust and general models for grounding estimation. Consequently, a series of larger and more complex GP models were developed to ensure higher accuracy. Results show that evolutionary techniques such as those based on Genetic Programming are promising for the estimation of the ground resistance.
Keywords: ground resistance; gene expression programming; genetic programming; symbolic regression; feature selection; weather data.
Using Kanos model to incorporate Six Sigma analysis in customer satisfaction measurement
by Yannis Politis, Evangelos Grigoroudis
Abstract: The Six Sigma approach has been well recognized as an important tool for continuous improvement and business excellence. It is a statistical concept that analyzes a process in terms of defects and can be used in order to measure the probability that companies can manufacture or produce any given unit of a product (or service) with zero defects. While many companies have adopted the concept of Six Sigma and zero defects in manufacturing processes few have extended it to customer satisfaction. Six Sigma can be used to measure the number of dissatisfied customers (defects) and can constitute a tool for developing strategies to improve customer satisfaction. Since sigma level can be used as a measure of the number of dissatisfied customers, it can be assumed that there is a direct relationship between satisfaction ratings and sigma levels. However, higher sigma levels for certain attributes do not necessarily translate to correspondingly higher customer satisfaction scores, while some attributes with higher satisfaction scores may not have a very high sigma level. This can be due to the different importance given by customers to the satisfaction criteria or their expectations on a set of quality characteristics. The main goal of this paper is to incorporate the concept of Six Sigma analysis in customer satisfaction measurement by introducing the principles of Kanos customer satisfaction model in order to derive important information for the selection of strategic actions. The proposed approach has been implemented in a real case study concerning the evaluation of customer satisfaction from Greek mobile service providers.
Keywords: Six Sigma; Customer Satisfaction; MUSA Method; Kano’s Model; Mobile Service Providers.
A Multicriteria Decision Support Approach for Redesigning e-Learning Systems
by Christos Kytagias, Yannis Psaromiligkos, George Dimakos
Abstract: In this paper we present a decision support approach for redesigning e-learning systems through the analysis of students' preferential structures. Our approach supports instructional designers to take decisions during the redesign process of an e-learning system by analyzing the students' preferential structures in the following dimensions: (a) the dimension of students' learning behavior (b) the dimension of students' learning performance and (c) the dimension of students' feedback. Our approach is based on a new method from the domain of Multicriteria Decision Making that provides weights of individuals' preferences which become input in a clustering process that determines groups of preferences among students. Based on these clusters we analyze the other three dimensions and we provide a framework for the decision making process capable to provide significant feedback for the redesign of the e-learning system. A case study is also described of the application of our approach in a real course.
Keywords: Multicriteria decision support approach; redesign e-learning systems; Weights Assessment through Prioritization (WAP); e-Learning Systems; analyzing students’ preferences; learning analytics.
Identifying Risks Factors of Students Failure in e-Learning Systems: Towards a Warning System
by Ioannis Georgakopoulos, Christos Kytagias, Yannis Psaromiligkos, Aggeliki Voudouri
Abstract: The radical changes that 21st century has brought about in the territory of education has increased the requirements of the underlying stakeholders for smarter tools capable to provide continuous and sophisticated feedback of the educational process. Decision Makers in this area need to make decisions at various points as well as at multiple levels during the life cycle of the educational process. Learning Management Systems (LMS) can provide decision support services which can be used to increase the learning effectiveness of the new mode of learning as well as the efficient organization of the institutional resources. Identifying students at risk is a major problem. In this paper we provide a framework and a detailed case study for identifying risks factors of students failure in e-Learning and a proposal of how an LMS can be transformed into a Warning System and provide decision support services to Decision Makers.
Keywords: Key words: e-learning systems; risk identification in e-learning; risk factors in e-learning; learning management systems.
Decision Support Systems for Strategic Information Systems Planning: An Approach for Logistics Strategic Management
by Fotis Kitsios, Maria Kamariotou
Abstract: As business environment is getting more and more turbulent, effective strategic management and decision-making is necessary, thus the implementation of Decision Support Systems (DSS) is considered crucial to sustain competitive advantage. Information Systems (IS) are used to collect information and to support the decision making to select the right strategy. In this view, Strategic Information Systems Planning (SISP) and its alignment with business planning improves business performance. An area where DSS have been widely applied is Logistics though surveys which indicate their strategic approach are limited. Although Logistics is the function which consists of the management of material and information flows and it is significant in satisfying customers' needs, researchers have just recently started paying attention in its strategic role. This paper proposes a strategic DSS framework which combines both the strategic management process and SISP to provide an approach so as to achieve effective decision making in Logistics.
Keywords: Decision Support Systems; Strategic Management; Business Strategy; Strategic Information Systems Planning; Logistics.
ANALYSIS OF GAS PIPELINE SYSTEM FROM A EUROPEAN ENERGY SECURITY PERSPECTIVE
by Athanasios Ballis, Tatiana Moschovou, Loukas Dimitriou
Abstract: Natural gas is an environmental friendly energy source used in various residential and industrial applications. The European Commission is a major gas consumer yet the local production satisfies only one third of the total demand, leading to significant gas imports. The issue of energy security is high in the agenda of Europe asking for the systematic investigation of all pertinent factors. To this aim a gas network model was developed and used for testing various demand and supply scenarios. Demand scenarios assume that although the total energy demand in Europe will remain at the today's level, the share of the natural gas will be increased as (a) more gas consumers will be added in the network from countries where the gas network is not fully expanded and (b) the share of CNG powered vehicles will be increased. Supply scenarios reflect the network status when the ongoing pipeline and port LNG projects will be finalised and when new projects (in planning phase) will be developed. The analysis performed revealed the importance of the gas corridor from Azerbaijan and Middle East via Turkey and Greece/Bulgaria to Europe as well as the significance of the LNG port installations for the diversification of gas suppliers and the alleviation of bottlenecks or supply interruptions in the pipeline network.
Keywords: Natural gas pipeline systems; gas network design; European energy security.