Problematics as Guides in Decision Aiding

  • Bernard Roy
Part of the Nonconvex Optimization and Its Applications book series (NOIA, volume 12)


In Section 6.1, we define and illustrate four reference problematics — P.α, P.β, P.γ, P.δ. The objective of P.α is to aid the decision maker by the choice of a subset that is as small as possible so that a single action can eventually be chosen. This subset contains “best” actions (optima) or, perhaps, “satisfactory” actions (satisficing solutions). The result of P.α is a choice or a selection procedure.

The objective of P.β is to aid the decision maker by a sorting that leads to an assignment of each action to a category, where the categories are defined beforehand as a function of certain norms that deal with the ultimate fate of the actions that will be assigned to them. The result of P.β is a sorting or an assignment procedure.

The objective of P.γ is to aid the decision maker through a ranking that is obtained by placing all, or simply the “most attractive,” actions into equivalence classes that are completely or partially ordered according to preferences. P.γ results in a ranking or an ordering procedure.

The objective of P.δ is to aid the decision maker by developing a description of the actions and their consequences in appropriate terms. It results in a description or a cognitive procedure.

In Section 6.2 we discuss how the problematic chosen for a given phase of the analysis can correspond to one of the four reference problematics, to a sequence of two or more of the problematics, or to a mixed problematic. We illustrate the last two cases with new examples.


Decision Maker Assignment Procedure Complete Order Cognitive Procedure Admission Committee 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Roy
    • 1
  1. 1.LAMSADEUniversité Paris-DauphineFrance

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