Scenario-Based Preferences in Risk Analysis and Systems Engineering: Evolution through Time Frames

Hamilton, Michelle, Systems Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Lambert, James, Department of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Virginia

Priority-setting in large-scale systems involves uncertainties across multiple, competing aims that span technology, climate, economy, regulatory, socio-economic, ecology, and other dimensions. Recent literature has advocated scenario-based preferences in multicriteria analysis to seek robust initiatives across scenarios of epistemic or deep uncertainty (Stewart et al. 2013; Goodwin and Wright 2001; Montibeller et al. 2006 and Parnell 1999). Schroeder and Lambert (2011) adopted scenario-based preferences for risk analysis, identifying combinations of risk factors that are influential to priority setting. Previous analyses fall short of addressing evolving initiatives, criteria, and uncertainties. The scenario-based approach should be implemented as a process that provides continuity of analyses across past, present, and future time frames. This dissertation describes a process for iterative framing of scenario-based preferences for risk analysis in systems engineering, updating criteria, alternatives, and emergent factors. The process is demonstrated in several case studies: (i) selecting energy technologies for islanding of fixed military installations, and (ii) selecting research and development initiatives for climate-change resilience of coastal facilities. The approach is generally applicable for risk analysis and systems engineering that addresses emergent and future conditions for the government, military, and industry.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
risk analysis, decision analysis, multicriteria, scenario analysis, energy, climate change
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