Title: The triage method: screening alternatives over time with multiobjective decision analysis

Authors: Jeffery D. Weir; Jeremy Hendrix; Alex J. Gutman

Addresses: Department of Operational Sciences, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 2950 Hobson Way, OH 45433, USA ' United States Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 4375 Chidlaw Road, OH 45433, USA ' Center for Operational Analysis, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 2950 Hobson Way, OH 45433, USA

Abstract: We present the triage method for screening decision alternatives. Screening reduces a decision maker's time and effort because it removes poor alternatives from unnecessary vetting. We consider the case when alternatives arrive at different times in batch sizes. Alternatives may also 'expire', requiring a decision to be made quickly. A triage function uses a value model to partition incoming alternatives into one of three sets: transferred, rejected, or pending. Pending alternatives are cycled back through the process and are reevaluated against a changing cutoff value. Interval parameters account for uncertainty and disagreements between multiple decision makers. Overall, the triage method provides a dynamic, continuous evaluation of potential alternatives with results that are easily defended and communicated. We illustrate a wartime application of the triage method on proposals seeking funding to defeat improvised explosive devices, the main killer of coalition forces and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Keywords: multicriteria decision making; multiobjective decision analysis; military applications; screening decisions; sensitivity analysis; MCDM; triage method; decision makers; batch sizes; arrival times; expiry; value modelling; transferred alternatives; rejected alternatives; pending alternatives; changing cutoff values; interval parameters; uncertainty; disagreements; communication; wartime applications; funding proposals; improvised explosive devices; IEDs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCDM.2014.066871

International Journal of Multicriteria Decision Making, 2014 Vol.4 No.4, pp.311 - 331

Received: 27 Jan 2013
Accepted: 26 Aug 2013

Published online: 29 Jan 2015 *

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