What is PlanningDSS.COM?
Recently, DSSResources.COM registered a new domain name, PlanningDSS.COM. The name summarizes the purpose of the web site -- it is a planning decision support system. If you visit the URL, you'll find the following introductory message: "Welcome to the Planning Decision Support System. This Web-based planning and decision process structuring program has been designed to improve contingency course of action (COA) planning decisions and selection decisions. The Planning Decision Support System (PDSS) is a prototype built using open source web tools. This website, PlanningDSS.com, is still under development, so your suggestions and feedback are most welcome. We are trying to identify 'alpha' testing opportunities." The HELP menu provides links to General, Planner, Decision Maker, Analyst and Observer help. Planning DSS is a role-based, multi-user decision support system. It is also an integrated decision structuring application with knowledge-driven and model-driven decision support subsystems.
This Ask Dan! is a quick synopsis of a 30 year research project, an overview of the design for a new web-based decision support application, and a request for help and collaboration in extending the project.
PlanningDSS.COM is the most recent incarnation of an idea or a vision for a computerized decision support application that I first had in the Fall of 1975. If nothing else, I have been persistent in trying to make my idea a reality. Certainly the idea has evolved as technologies have changed and as I have learned more about DSS design and about decision making behavior. But looking back the goals have remained remarkably unchanged. You can read a summary of that research covering the period 1975-1984 at DSSResources.com. Check http://dssresources.com/papers/decisionaids.html . Also, check the papers I wrote with Professor Gerald Rose when I was a student at the University of Iowa (cf., Power and Rose, 1976; Power and Rose, 1977).
In a future Ask Dan! column I may summarize the overall concept and/or how the system operates, but for now I'll stay focused on a broad overview. PlanningDSS.COM may turn into a new business venture, it may be a tool for helping DSS students learn about open source software like MySQL and PHP and decision process support, and it may serve as an environment for conducting research studies. Both DECision AID and some of the Decision Assistant applications were used in prior empirical studies that are described in papers I co-authored (Aldag and Power, 1986; Power, Meyeraan, and Aldag, 1994).
Where are we going with this? During summer 2005, I'll be trying to identify resources for further development efforts. I hope to expand the capabilities and do some alpha testing of the system with multiple users in a simulated decision making environment. We are currently checking the code, making minor enhancements and preparing a list of additions, improvements and new Use cases.
Who has helped with my computerized decision aid projects over the past 30 years? First, Gerald Rose (Univ. of Iowa), Bobby Brown (Univ. of Iowa) and Warren Boe (Univ. of Iowa) supervised and approved my Master's Thesis. My friend Ray Aldag (Univ. of Wisconsin) provided support, help and encouragement to continue the project when I studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for my Ph.D. in Business Administration. At the University of Iowa, an undergraduate student William Valliere helped me with some programming. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Willy Cats-Baril, Maureen Sullivan and Scott Conrad helped with programming. Willy was a friend and fellow Ph.D. student in those days. At the University of Northern Iowa a number of students have worked on related projects over the years. My son, Alex Power, has helped with many DSS projects in the past 6 years. Finally, I want to especially thank Betsy Hoffman, Branimir Peitel, Bryce Paulson, Luke Thompson and Chun-yi Wu for their help in renewing this research stream. I'm sure I've missed some names on this list, so to all those who have helped with my DSS design projects -- Thanks.
If this project sounds interesting and you'd like to get involved in some way, send me an email, email@example.com . As always your comments and feedback are welcomed.
Aldag, R.J. and Power, D.J. An Empirical Assessment of Computer-Assisted Decision Analysis. Decision Sciences, 1986, 17(4), pp. 572-588.
Power, D.J., Meyeraan, S. and Aldag, R. Impacts of Problem Structure and Computerized Decision Aids on Decision Attitudes and Behaviors. Information and Management, 1994, 26, pp. 281-294.
Power, D.J. and G. L. Rose. Improving Decision-Making Behavior Using the Hewlett Packard 2000/Access System. Proceedings of the American Institute for Decision Sciences, Nov. 1976, 47-49.
Power, D.J. and G. L. Rose. An Evaluation of DECAID, a Decision Formulation Computer-Aided Learning Program. Proceedings of the American Institute for Decision Sciences, October 1977, 118-119.
Power, D., Design and Development of DECAID: A CAL Decision Formulation Program, unpublished Masters Thesis, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Ia, 1977.
Power, D. J. "Designing and Developing a Computerized Decision Aid - A Case Study", World Wide Web, http://dssresources.com/papers/decisionaids.html , version 2.0, April 14, 1998.
The above response is from Power, D., What is PlanningDSS.COM? DSS News, Vol. 6, No. 12, May 22, 2005.
Last update: 2005-09-13 20:33
Author: Daniel Power
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