Framing tradespace exploration to improve support for multiple-stakeholder decision making
Author(s)Fitzgerald, Matthew Edward
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Adam M. Ross.
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As modern engineering projects increase in size and complexity, they have also tended to increase the number of people affected, thus expanding the set of involved stakeholders. The majority of research in tradespace exploration (TSE), as a paradigm for solving complex design problems, has focused on the analysis of the space of alternatives with the goal of uncovering design choices that are optimal or near-optimal. These designs feature desirable combinations of attributes for a given system stakeholder, including technical attributes, cost, and, more recently, -ilities. Less tradespace research has been devoted to the multi-stakeholder problem, in which there are multiple parties with different desired attributes, who must agree on a single design selection in order to proceed with development. Many standard value-measuring techniques, such as utility theory, operate on individuals only and have been shown to break down when used to combine the preferences of groups. Because of these limitations, multi-stakeholder tradespace exploration (MSTSE) has largely relied on the best practices for individual tradespace exploration, with all stakeholders using those methods in parallel. This parallel exploration has the goal of uncovering as many interesting or desirable alternatives as possible, empowering stakeholders to make an educated decision on how best to negotiate with their counterparts. The group decision problem, however, is not just a series of individual decisions and must incorporate interpersonal dynamics and psychological considerations of what makes a "good" decision, and what constitutes a "fair" solution in the minds of the participants. This thesis describes a research effort to develop the foundations of MSTSE by incorporating fundamental insights from the negotiation and framing literatures. A literature review is used to show that TSE is naturally aligned with the goals of productive negotiation. The framing of data in MSTSE is confirmed, via controlled experiment, to have impacts on negotiation which can be controlled through the visualizations given to the participating stakeholders. A combination of practitioner interviews, analysis of procedures for modern systems engineering methods, and case studies (on aerospace and transportation infrastructure systems) is used to create recommendations for applying MSTSE and demonstrate the new types of insights that can be achieved by doing so, beyond those of prior analyses.
Thesis: Ph. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2016.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis. Vita.Includes bibliographical references (pages 326-339).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.