--- INACTIVE --- EWG DDM, Distributed decision making

Name--- INACTIVE --- EWG DDM, Distributed decision making
Online newsletter
Coordinator Per Agrell
[email protected]
Université Catholique de Louvain
Louvain School of Management
Place des Doyens, 1
1348 Louvain-la-neuve
Phone: 003210478365
Purpose and historyDistributed Decision Making (DDM) is the new name for the European Working Group (EWG) on Hierarchical Organizational Planning (HOP). At its business meeting in Vienna in March 2000, the WG decided to change its name to the more comprehensive and less misunderstandable term Distributed Decision Making (DDM). A characterization of the group's area of research is given hereafter. Those who feel attracted are cordially invited to join the group.

Distributed Decision Making analyses the segregation and subsequent coordination of a complex decision problem. Such a problem may consist of one or of several decision makers who may possess private information and may act opportunistically. Accordingly, one has a wide range of methodological approaches starting from deterministic multi-stage programming to describe a complex decision problem of one well-informed person, and ending up with non-cooperative game theory. Between these antipodes, one has a considerable number of theories like stochastic
multi-stage programming, hierarchical production planning, principal agent theory, contract theory, auction theory, multi-agent decision theory, etc. Some of these approaches, like multi-stage programming, are more OR-oriented and put their emphasis to a greater extent on concrete solution aspects. Others, like principal agent theory or, more generally, game theory, are primarily originated in economics and are focusing specifically on general concepts. As a third group one might identify areas of application, like hierarchical production planning or managerial accounting, in which solution procedures and general concepts are needed.

It is this aspect of application that the working group is mainly focusing on. It is concerned with problems of coordinating complex models for team and non-team situations having a symmetric or an asymmetric state of information. These problems often exhibit a hierarchical structure as it is described in the general theory of hierarchical planning. Moreover, in many of these applications
aggregation and disaggregation play an important role as well as the concept of reactive and non-reactive anticipation being developed in hierarchical planning.

As a nice and highly relevant example. one might take supply chain management. In this new field of research, one has a network of fairly independent companies that have to be coordinated. Due to private information and opportunistic behavior, these companies often cannot be controlled by a central decision unit, but rather by a market-like coordination mechanism. Hence, in solving coordination problems in the supply chain, the whole range of solution techniques and concepts has to be made use of. Moreover, coordination is not only necessary between different members of the chain, but also between different planning levels, e.g., the strategic design level and the operational level of short term material and information exchange.

In more general terms, the purpose of the WG on DDM is to foster this challenging field of
Operational Research. In doing so, conceptional questions concerning formal organisational theory may hopefully gain a greater attention in the OR community as well. Thus, in strengthening the more conceptual direction of OR, one might be able to provide a substantial contribution to the general theory of business administration and the management process.

For more extensive information regarding the scope of the Working Group, see its homepage.
MembersThe number of members is now up to about 82 persons.
Past activitiesHOP I: EURO XV, Barcelona 1997

HOP II: Mannheim, March 27/28, 1998

Special session: at EURO XVI, Brussels 1998

HOP III: Mannheim, March 5/6, 1999

HOP IV: Vienna, March 10/11, 2000

Stream on DDM: at EURO XVII, Rotterdam 2001

DDM V: Istanbul, April 12/13, 2002

DDM VI: Rome, April 11/12, 2003

DDM VII: Louvain la Neuve, April 16/17, 2004

DDM VIII: Innsbruck, April 1/2, 2005

Stream on DDM at Euro XXI , Iceland, July 2-5, 2006

DDM IX just before EURO XXII , Prague, July 8, 2007.
Future activitiesDDM X:
Barcelona, September 8-9, 2008
Year established1997

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