The art of assessing multiattribute utility functions

Journal Article

Multiattribute utility theory is appropriate for developing preference models to address value trade-offs among multiple objectives and uncertainty in complex problems. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate by an example how one puts the theory into practice. The example chosen concerns energy policy. Specifically, an 11-attribute utility function over attributes including deaths, SO2 pollution, radioactive waste, health effects, and electrical energy generated is assessed. A dialogue indicating the procedure used, with comments on why various questions were asked, is presented in detail. The resulting utility function is being used to examine energy policies differing in terms of main fuel (fossil or nuclear) and degree of conservation. © 1977.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Keeney, RL

Published Date

  • 1977

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 267 - 310

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0030-5073