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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: An Algorithm for Computing Multiple Attribute Additive Value Measurement Ranges under a Hierarchy of the Criteria: Application to Farm Or Rangeland Management Decisions 1149

Authors
item Yakowitz, Diana
item Weltz, Mark

Submitted to: Multicriteria Evaluation in Land Use Management Methodologies and Case
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 28, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: A mathematical tool to aid in decision making is described and applied to the problem of evaluating farm or rangeland management systems with respect to both economic and environmental criteria. The method quickly computes the possible range of value from the most optimistic to the most pessimistic (best to worst) for any given grouping criteria. The decision tool is particularly useful for examining alternatives from numerous decision making viewpoints or by multiple decision makers. Priorities among the criteria or attributes can be changed and the value range computed again using a simple method. The method is applied to the problem of determining a possible replacement farm management system for several fields in western Iowa. Environmental and economical improvement over the current farming system is indicated by several of the proposed alternative systems. Current projects to develop indices of rangeland and soil health are also described.

Technical Abstract: A decision tool is described and applied to the problem of evaluating farm or rangeland management systems with respect to both economic and environmental criteria. The method quickly computes the possible range of value from the most optimistic to the most pessimistic (best to worst) for any given hierarchy of the multiple attributes. The method is to be applied dafter commensurate attribute values have been determined for each alternative without requiring one to specify or determine explicit weights on the attributes. The decision tool is particularly useful for examining alternatives from numerous decision making viewpoints or by multiple decision makers. The priority order of the criteria or attributes at any tier in the hierarchy can be changed and the value range computed again using a simple algorithmic method. This solution method makes it easy to determine the result of modifying priorities in portions of the hierarchical architecture without recalculating the contributions of unaffected branches. The method is applied to the problem of determining a possible replacement farm management system for several fields in western Iowa. Simulated data for each alternative system was obtained using a USDA Decision Support System known as MODeST (Multiple Objective Decision Support Tool). Environmental and economical improvement over the current farming system is indicated by several of the alternative systems. Current projects to develop indices of rangeland & soil health are also described.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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