From the decision maker’s or user’s point of view, the decision maker has to first feed in a list of the design components that have been conceptualized for the construction. Values for relevant parameters that describe the conceptual design and the decision making have to be fed in. The DSS uses these values to generate a list of feasible materials for each design element from the materials database of the DSS utilizing heuristics for material selection from the internal logic or knowledge base of the DSS.
After the DSS generates a list of feasible materials for each element, it queries the decision maker for the personalized weightings for the sustainability attributes. The Sustainability Index Calculator calculates the values of the sustainability attributes for each feasible material. An Amalgamator Module of the DSS amalgamates the weightings of the decision maker with the sustainability attribute values for each material that could be utilized and sorts the materials according to their individual rankings.
The DSS recommends the material with the highest rating to the decision maker who is free to either accept the recommendation of the Decision Support System or to opt for an alternative from the list of alternatives provided by the DSS. Conclusions The Decision Support System for the selection of construction materials on the basis of sustainability therefore analyzes the feasible materials for each element of a construction from a wide range of perspectives.
The factors that influence the ultimate output of the Decision Support System incorporate the technologies and economies of construction processes, the characteristics of the applicable materials, ecological and environmental concerns, sustainability aspects, and most important of all, the professional and personal preferences of the user or the decision maker. Each of these factors by themselves could constitute individual expert systems.
The complexity and sophistication of such decision support systems can thus be appreciated along with their great utility in helping decision makers to make crucial decisions.
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