Visualizations for decision support in scenario-based multiobjective optimization

Shavazipour, Babooshka, Manuel López-Ibáñez, and Kaisa Miettinen. “Visualizations for decision support in scenario-based multiobjective optimization.” Information Sciences 578 (2021): 1-21.


We address challenges of decision problems when managers need to optimize several conflicting objectives simultaneously under uncertainty. We propose visualization tools to support the solution of such scenario-based multiobjective optimization problems. Suitable graphical visualizations are necessary to support managers in understanding, evaluating, and comparing the performances of management decisions according to all objectives in all plausible scenarios. To date, no appropriate visualization has been suggested. This paper fills this gap by proposing two visualization methods: a novel extension of empirical attainment functions for scenarios and an adapted version of heatmaps. They help a decision-maker in gaining insight into realizations of trade-offs and comparisons between objective functions in different scenarios. Some fundamental questions that a decision-maker may wish to answer with the help of visualizations are also identified. Several examples are utilized to illustrate how the proposed visualizations support a decision-maker in evaluating and comparing solutions to be able to make a robust decision by answering the questions. Finally, we validate the usefulness of the proposed visualizations in a real-world problem with a real decision-maker. We conclude with guidelines regarding which of the proposed visualizations are best suited for different problem classes.

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