An Analysis of Spatially-enabled Mobile Decision Support Systems in a Collaborative Decision-Making Environment

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för naturgeografi och ekosystemvetenskap

Abstract: The effectiveness of decision-making processes has been enhanced by integrating multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and geographic information system (GIS) methods to solve more complex spatial problems that were not possible to solve using conventional GIS methods. A spatial decision support system (SDSS) supports various stakeholders in the decision-making process, by processing data using GIS-MCDA methods. A newer category of SDSS is spatially-enabled mobile decision support systems (MDSS) that can enable the accessibility of real-time spatial information over wireless networks while in the field. Using portable devices, MDSS provides a range of benefits in supporting mobile decision-makers. In this research project, the aim was to illustrate the applicability of a spatially-enabled MDSS in a collaborative decision-making process. This was done by developing a prototype of a spatially-enabled MDSS that solved route optimization problems, in the context of creating race routes for running events. The project also provides a deeper insight to the various MCDA techniques and methods. Although this research project shows the potentially huge value a spatially-enabled MDSS has in many different applications and the ability to make rapid decisions in the field, many limitations and obstacles came to light, such as some users’ reluctance to use new technologies and prohibitive cost factors. Other stumbling blocks against using a MDSS for complex spatial problems were the lack of guidance for selecting the most appropriate MCDA method for a specific decision-making problem and the overall complexity of MCDA methods.

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