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Choice Modeler: A Web-based Spatial Multiple Criteria Evaluation Tool

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This article presents a concept of a Web-based spatial multiple criteria evaluation tool for individual and group use called Choice Modeler (CM). CM was originally conceived as part of a larger Participatory Geographic Information System for Transportation project (PGIST; aimed at developing and evaluating Internet-hosted capabilities to support participatory decision processes. CM is designed to be either a part of a larger information system such as PGIST or a standalone tool used for evaluation of decision variants. The decision support functions provided by CM aid in reducing the cognitive complexity of the decision space characterized by multiple decision options, evaluation criteria, and criterion weights. This is achieved by incorporating in CM the sensitivity analysis functions for the identification of criteria that do not influence the decision option ranking. Users can remove such criteria from further consideration and thus lessen the cognitive burden of evaluation, which may be essential in multi-stakeholder participatory decision processes. The additional capabilities of CM include a vote aggregation function to collate individual option rankings into a group ranking, and measures of agreement/disagreement to inform the participants about a group-derived desirability of specific decision options. The design of CM was implemented using Web-service architecture. In the article we describe the design of CM and discuss its advantages and limitations.
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Keywords: GIS; Multiple Criteria Evaluation; Sensitivity Analysis; Spatial Decision Support Systems; Web-service architectures

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography San Diego State University

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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