Skip to Main Content
One of the early flights of NASA's space shuttle will be allocated to the Langley Research Center as an orbiting research laboratory, and a study team of scientists in the Shuttle Experiments Office has the responsibility for selecting the set of scientific experiments which will be performed on the flights. Working closely with the team, the authors developed a procedure which leads to an `optimal' resolution of the group decision problem. The approach taken can be characterized as a way of organizing the expert judgments of the team members to establish a measure of group preference over the set of experimental packages, and a particular feature of the procedure is the manner in which it structured a hierarchical taxonomy of the group task and talent to be employed in combination with the assignment of `influence weights' to achieve a maximal utilization of the expertise of the study team. Though the information demands are somewhat high, the approach was fully accepted by the study team as a rational way to make the selection of an experimental package and considerably preferred to an essentially political mode of resolution.