UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Interactive visualization for group decision-making Bajracharya, Sanjana


In infrastructure planning, identifying ‘the best solution’ out of a given set of alternatives is a context-dependent multi-dimensional multi-stakeholder challenge in which competing criteria must be identified and trade-offs made. In a recent study, colleagues from Institute of Resources, Sustainability and Environment found that there is a need for a visualization tool that enables planners and decision makers to collectively explore individual preferences among those involved in the decision. This thesis concerns designing and evaluating an interactive visualization tool that facilitates group decisions by making the problem analysis more participatory, transparent, and comprehensible. To do so, we extend the interactive visualization tool ValueCharts to create Group ValueCharts. We conducted studies with two different groups to evaluate the effectiveness of Group ValueCharts in group decision-making. The first group was university staff in leading positions in different departments, presently engaged in and responsible for water infrastructure planning. The second group was employees of an analytics company who are involved in buying scientific software licenses. Each group was instructed on how to use the tool in application to their current decision problem. The discussions were audio recorded and the participants were surveyed to evaluate usability. The results indicate that participants felt the tool improved group interaction and information exchange, and made the discussion more participatory. Additionally, the participants strongly concur that the tool reveals disagreements and agreements within the group. These results suggest that Group ValueCharts has the ability to enhance transparency and comprehensibility in group decision-making.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada