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Title: Group and societal decision making : an exploration of modelling paradigms applied to nuclear facility siting
Author: Gilbert, Matthew G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 5282
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis has explored the area of group and societal decision making applied to nuclear facility siting problems, and some of the common modelling paradigms used to assist decision makers (either to enhance understanding or serving as a vehicle to compare potential alternatives). We have explored common issues and the history surrounding the construction of decision support systems, and identified potential modelling paradigms that could be used to assist decision makers in our facility siting setting. In the area of utilities, we investigate measuring the influence of some group members on others in decision making. Being better able to identify potentially influential behaviour would be useful in supporting and subsequently auditing a decision. A new measure of the influence of individuals is given, which is analogous to the well-known Cook’s distance used to identify influential data in regression. The theoretical properties of this measure are explored. A simple method to identify sub-groups within the group of decision makers is given. We investigate the efficiency of our new measures using large scale randomised studies. We use these measures to identify sub-groups of individuals with similar beliefs in a data set collected in a previous experiment. In the areas of system dynamics and discrete event simulation, we have constructed models of public response to the UK government’s request for volunteer communities to host a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) for nuclear waste in the 2009-2013 siting process. We create models in each paradigm to explore the influential factors behind Cumbria’s withdrawal from the process in early 2013 based on opinion surveys during the 4 year public deliberation. We have considered the suitability of each paradigm as a modelling process for public response and deliberation, and explore whether the extension of the decision deadline requested by the councils could have biased the process. Our approach models the interactions between the 3 key stakeholder groups we included: the general public, the MRWS Partnership and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). We show that a decision deadline extension may have biased the process. Additionally, we contrast the strengths and weaknesses of each model and paradigm both generally, and for our specific scenario through response analysis to a selection of alternative scenarios.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA Mathematics