Decision Support Systems

Activity of any manager constantly calls for decision-making.

Decision-making is a special activity type, envisioning formation of decision variants (alternatives), subsequent evaluation of their relative efficiency, and distribution of resources among these variants in accordance to evaluation results. Simpler decisions include approval or rejection of an alternative, choice of the best alternative, and alternative ranking.

During complex decision-making multitudes (decades or hundreds) of interconnected factors often have to be taken into consideration. To ensure high professional level of decision-making it is necessary to integrate knowledge of many specialists (experts). At the same time, due to psycho-physiolological constraints, an individual is unable to operate with more than 7-9 objects simultaneously. To overcome this constraint decision support systems (DSS) are used.

Functional scheme of DSS:

DSS Functional Scheme

DSS are applied in weakly-structured domains.

Three classes of DSS can be marked out in accordance to their functional capacities.

First DSS class – individual usage systems, where knowledge bases are filled by immediate user. Multi-criteria alternative estimation is used in such systems. They are primarily intended for usage by medium-rank public servants.

Second DSS class includes systems capable of adapting to user’s experience. They are intended for decision-making support in situations which are often repeated (such as crediting subject choice, job contractor selection, appointing a candidate for a vacant post etc). Such systems also use multi-criteria estimation of alternatives and provide decision-making support in current situation based on results of practical usage of previously-obtained results.

Third DSS class can be used even in cases when DSS of the first and second classes are impossible to apply due to lack of common criteria allowing for estimation of every alternative. They provide maximal functionality, intended for application in highest-level governmental bodies (Administration of the President, Supreme Council, Cabinet of Ministers, ministries, oblast state administrations) and large busyness structures.

References: Totsenko V.G. Decision support methods & systems // Naukova dumka. - Kyiv. - 2002.