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Multi-attribute Utility Strategy

Mom B decided that choosing both hers and her childs place of
living is an issue to important to just leave it for the simplest decision
making method. She knew that for the sake of her family she has to take
into account many different aspects of leaving either in the apartment in
the city or house in the suburban. That is why she chose complex multiattribute utility strategy in order receive the most reliable outcome in
her decision making process. This strategy provides very accurate
weighting tool that will properly take into consideration the importance of
each attribute. Also the outcome will be transparent and comprehensive.
Methodology
The first step was to classify attributes, which would help to assess
advantages and disadvantages of each decision. As in the introduction she
chose following attributes:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Cost to maintain
Kid benefits
Environment
Access to social institutions
Size
Access to public transport
Future Exploitation
Distance to the center
Price
Next step she had to implement was evaluating those attributes in

order to provide them with beneficial value for being more significant to
her. This stage was extremely important because weighting attributes
helps to influence a choice, which should be based on the most preferable
features.
Mom B decided to designate for herself a fixed pool of numbers,
which she would distribute later to every attribute. She set a pool of 100

points and had to distribute them in such a way that all points were being
spent. The biggest the number the most preferable attribute it were.
However Mom B find out very soon that this method was unreliable
because she distributed all points in the sets of fifths and tenths. To erase
this falsification she implemented a slightly different method. She decided
to evaluate attributes by assessing parentage of how important for her is
each of them, simply positioning them within scopes of 100% - 81% for
very important attributes, 80% - 51% for those of medium importance and
less than 50% for those least meaningful. She found it to be both easier
and more accurate.
After evaluating percentage weights Mom B calculated actual
weights in the set of 100 points. She did this by summing up all
percentage to create a base (or denominator) and them divided each
attributes percentage by this number. Later, to get rid of decimal values
she multiplies each option by 100. In the next step she hesitates to either
use rounded or rational numbers in order to do not falsify the outcome.
Finally she decided to go with both and see if the difference will be
significant in the process of decision making.
Next part was to distribute attributes points between two choices:
house in the suburban district and apartment in the city center. To make
the outcome more reliable Mom B decided to create a scale from 1 to 10
for which, 1 is the lowest assessment while 10 is the highest. This
distribution was not limited in any other means. She chose this scale
because it was vast enough to provide satisfying and accurate assessment
to every option. All distributed points were adjusted by her personal
feelings and experience (no scientific research made for this purpose).
In the final stage she had to calculate weighted points for each
attribute. That was done by simply multiplying decisions score in every
attribute by its weight. Later all the points from attributes were summed
up. The biggest number was supposed to reflect the best choice and
therefore represent her final decision. She made the calculation twice for
rounded and for rational numbers to be sure that the outcome would not
be changed.

Outcome:

Attributes and their weights

Distribution
Scale
10-1

Weight = ni/
(n)

Percenta
ge
Attribute

Weight

95

Cost to maintain

90

Child benefits

90

Environment
Access to
institutions

70
65
50
40
40
30
570

Size
Access to
transport
Future
exploitation
Distance from
center
Price

Attribute
Cost to maintain
Child benefits
Environment
Access to
institutions
Size
Access to
transport

Weight x
100

0,16666666
7
0,15789473
7
0,15789473
7
0,12280701
8
0,11403508
8
0,08771929
8
0,07017543
9
0,07017543
9
0,05263157
9
1

Weight
approximate

16,67

17

15,79

16

15,79

16

12,28

12

11,40

11

8,77

10

7,02

7,02

10

5,26
100

5
100

4
50

5
58

Outcom
e

Outcom
e

House

Approximate numbers
House
Apartment

Apartment

House

10>1
Apartmen
t

50
126
142

133
79
47

51
128
144

136
80
48

61
103

86
46

60
99

84
44

26

88

27

90

Future
exploitation
Distance from
center
Price

49

42

49

42

14
21
593

70
26
618

14
20
592

70
25
619

Analysis:
In the beginning Mom B distributed percentage of importance to each attribute. She
didnt have a single most preferable choice; she struggled with three most important attributes
of leaving anywhere. Those where: cost to maintain, child benefits and environment. In the
end Mom B decided to award cost to maintain with highest certainty of importance. As a
single mother she was having a lot of responsibility and a place which requires a lot of
additional work and afford could harm her health and affect her child as well if she couldnt
have time for him. Two other most preferable attributes were related specifically to the childs
welfare. Child benefits could help to raise the child in happy and favorable atmosphere.
Environment was very important due to security of the child and big influence of other people
as well as external factors like pollution and noise.
In the middle range attributes the highest score was assigned to access to institutions.
Although it got 70% it was much lower than three previous attributes. It was like that because
this and other attributes werent paying as important role for the mother. She was educated in
the low standard public school and was treated in the public hospitals so her persuasion about
choice of institutions is centered.
Next most important factor was size. It got 60% of importance because size was
beneficial in the way of leaving in the high standards and decorating. Mom B loves to
decorate and was fascinated by it, because she watches Domo + on TV and she really wanted
to provide herself a space to in which she could arrange her place of dreams. Still it was not as
important to her as environment or child benefits.
Access to public transport was important to her in 50%. Mom B has a car and she likes
to drive it because it is practical. However public transport may pay a bigger role in the life of
her child. Especially in the future when he will be coming back from school on his own or
wanted to go out with his friends.
Although future exploitation is an important issue, Mom B rated it only 40%. She did
it because she was not concerned about the future in the present situation. Many things may
happened, she could for example sell this place in the close future.

Distance form the city center was as irrelevant to her as future exploitation. Although
leaving close to the city center may have it benefits she is not concerned about it because she
has a car. What more, as a single mother she will have to give up a lot of attraction of a big
city (like clubs, expensive restaurants and cultural places) because she have to raise the child
and can not leave him on his own. That is why distance to those attractions is not very
important.
Price was the least important to her basically because she inherits the big amount of
money, sufficient to choose her place of leaving without any financial concerns. It was also
connected with the fact that the money was earned by her without any particular effort. That is
why she was unconsciously treating it as easy money and was tending to spend it without any
concerns.
After calculation the weights were distributed to each attribute. As it turned out none
of the attributes exceeded 20 points and all were arranged in the scope from 5 to 17. It was a
good sign meaning that attributes weights were distributed in such a way that there is no
particular one attribute that may influence the choice but every attribute will make some kind
of meaning for the final outcome.
The distribution of points to each choice was a second activity Mom B had to perform.
Starting from the house she distributed points from scale 1-10. When 10 is the best outcome.
She decided that cost to maintain is a really bad side of having a house, because it is
larger and needs also exterior care not only interior. It is usually also more expensive to
maintain in terms of bills and household service. However house is a perfect place
considering child benefits and environment. He would be raised in the peaceful atmosphere,
without being demolished by strange variety of people leaving in the city like hooligans,
homeless and mentally ill. House provides also more possibilities to play than a apartment,
like conditions to organize parties or having a puppet. In the suburban district access to
institution is limited, especially to cultural places like cinemas or theaters. The limitless in
diversity is an issue it was rated mediocre. Size is the biggest advantage of a house. Mom B
could fulfill her dream of a dream house. What more houses usually have garden, which is
another advantage. However public transport is much lower developed in the suburban
location. It provides only bus and no alternatives like tram or subway. On the other hand
house provides quite an opportunity for future exploitation. House can be a multi-generation
place if the family will decide to expand. On the other hand houses depreciate faster than
apartments and it will require more renovations and t is harder to sell. Biggest disadvantage of

having a house in the suburban location is the distance to the city center. The only way to
have it worse is just not to live in the city at all. Price is also a negative side of the house.
They are usually more expensive than apartments due to their size and production costs.
Apartment in the city center also has its advantages and disadvantages. Cost to
maintain is much lower than houses because it does not require caring from the outside and its
size determine less work. That is why it was rated much higher on the scale. Child benefits
however are much lower. It will be harder for a child to play outside and make friends in the
neighborhood. This is connected with the worse environment, which is a biggest disadvantage
in the big city. Cars on the roads and other dangers are much more common in the centers of
the big cities. On the other hand leaving in the center brings better access to best schools and
hospitals but only if they are actually close to the center. Size is a big disadvantage of a
apartment that is why it was rated below the median. Apartments are most often smaller than
houses and have limited space and sometimes an inconvenient arrangement of walls. However
public transport is perfect in this area. Subways, trams and buses are highly developed in the
city centers providing even the better alternative to cars in some point. Future exploitation is
not a big disadvantage of the apartment. It can be easily sold with a higher price in the future
and it provides some possibilities for small family expansion. If it comes to the distance form
the center it actually does not exist. Price is lower than houses but still apartments in city
centers are pretty expensive that it why it was rated in the middle.
At this point it is worth to consider than Mom B was in favor of providing an
apartment with the highest number of total points to each attribute. After summing them up
apartment had 58 points while house only 50. This however couldnt determine the final
decision because weighs hadnt been applied yet.
The final step was to accumulate the outcome of each weighted attribute and summed
them up to receive the final score. As it turns out the apartment had slightly higher score than
a house (618 > 593). Mom B decided that the difference is big enough to accept the decision
as valid. After deeper analysis it was certain that the outcome was mostly influenced by the
highest weighted attribute, which is cost to maintain but also the fact that leaving in the center
is beneficial in term of accessibility and comfortability of having everything at yours
fingertips. It also turns out to be no particular difference in rounded and rational numbers
outcome in this decision process.