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On the role of fuzzy decision support for risk communication among stakeholders

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3 Author(s)
Bender, M.J. ; Golder Assoc., Calgary, Alta., Canada ; Swanson, S. ; Robinson, R.

Many of the environmental management issues which plague decision making processes can be poorly-defined scientifically, or misunderstood in real situations. Even as additional scientific studies clarify issues or impacts, (lack of) communication becomes the governing factor when external stakeholders are involved. In public participation processes, alternative dispute resolution techniques are being continually refined to enhance communication among stakeholders. The science of decision support is also evolving to allow direct participation of stakeholders in planning processes. This paper presents a framework for improving the public consultation process for the case of a popular recreational lake in central Alberta that receives discharge from a coal-fired power plant. Focus is given to the application of a fuzzy decision analysis technique to express subjectivities among stakeholders, and uncertainties in data representation. The fuzzy compromise approach is used to express subjective stakeholder evaluations for the purpose of providing feedback concerning the relative uncertainties in the performance for available alternatives, and for examining the implications of risk averse behaviour among stakeholders. The benefits of incorporating fuzzy sets to express subjectivity and model uncertainty is to clarify the relative performance of alternatives within a risk-based approach, and to identify data gaps which may impact the perception of alternatives or may be sensitive to diverse stakeholder perspectives

Published in:

Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 1997. Computational Cybernetics and Simulation., 1997 IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:1 )

Date of Conference:

12-15 Oct 1997