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Title: A novel approach for the development of policies for socio-technical systems
Author: Taeihagh, Araz
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 4308
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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The growth in the interdependence and complexity of socio-technical systems requires the development of tools and techniques to aid in the formulation of better policies. The efforts of this research focus towards developing methodologies and support tools for better policy design and formulation. In this thesis, a new framework and a systematic approach for the formulation of policies are proposed. Focus has been directed to the interactions between policy measures, inspired by concepts in process design and network analysis. Furthermore, we have developed an agent-based approach to create a virtual environment for the exploration and analysis of different configurations of policy measures in order to build policy packages and test the effects of changes and uncertainties while formulating policies. By developing systematic approaches for the formulation and analysis of policies it is possible to analyse different configuration alternatives in greater depth, examine more alternatives and decrease the time required for the overall analysis. Moreover, it is possible to provide real-time assessment and feedback to the domain experts on the effect of changes in the configurations. These efforts ultimately help in forming more effective policies with synergistic and reinforcing attributes while avoiding internal contradictions. This research constitutes the first step towards the development of a general family of computer-based systems that support the design of policies. The results from this research also demonstrate the usefulness of computational approaches in addressing the complexity inherent in the formulation of policies. As a proof of concept, the proposed framework and methodologies have been applied to the formulation of policies that deal with transportation issues and emission reduction, but can be extended to other domains.
Supervisor: Bañares-Alcántara, René Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chemical and process engineering ; Transport ; Environment ; Climate systems and policy ; Operations research,mathematical programming ; Decision science ; Public policy ; Applications and algorithms ; environmental policy ; process design ; policy design ; policy formulation ; policy packaging ; decision support systems ; complexity science ; agent-based modelling ; community structures ; conceptual design ; network analysis ; emission reduction ; multiple-criteria decision analysis ; preference indices ; transport policy ; transportation ; walking and cycling