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Inequity-averse decisions in operational research

Karsu, Ozlem (2014) Inequity-averse decisions in operational research. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis is on inequity-averse decisions in operational research, and draws on concepts from economics and operational research such as multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) and mathematical modelling. The main focus of the study is developing systematic methods and modelling to help decision makers (DMs) in situations where equity concerns are important. We draw on insights from the economics literature and base our methods on some of the widely accepted principles in this area. We discuss two equity related concerns, namely equitability and balance, which are distinguished based on whether anonymity holds or not. We review applications involving these concerns and discuss alternative ways to incorporate such concerns into operational research (OR) models. We point out some future research directions especially in using MCDM concepts in this context. Specifically, we observe that research is needed to design interactive decision support systems. Motivated by this observation, we study an MCDM approach to equitability. Our interactive approach uses holistic judgements of the DM to refine the ranking of an explicitly given (discrete) set of alternatives. The DM is assumed to have a rational preference relation with two additional equity-related axioms, namely anonymity and the Pigou-Dalton principle of transfers. We provide theoretical results that help us handle the computational difficulties due to the anonymity property. We illustrate our approach by designing an interactive ranking algorithm and provide computational results to show computational feasibility. We then consider balance concerns in resource allocation settings. Balance concerns arise when the DM wants to ensure justice over entities, the identities of which might affect the decision. We propose a bi-criteria modelling approach that has efficiency (quantified by the total output) and balance (quantified by the imbalance indicators) related criteria. We solve the models using optimization and heuristic algorithms. Our extensive computational experiments show the satisfactory behaviour of our algorithms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Ozlem Karsu
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Morton, Alec

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