The Macaulay Institute

Land Allocation Decision Support System

A Systems Approach to Decision Support System Development

The development of LADSS applies the principles and methods of systems research. This approach to the holistic investigation of land use systems is illustrated in the following figure.

Systems Approach

The approach adopted is thus based upon analysis of the outcomes of strategic applied research from appropriate disciplines and the synthesis of that knowledge, coupled with expert knowledge gained by practitioners, into model structures which are testable. The outcomes of the testing phase may start a new phase of analysis and may also identify high priority areas for new strategic research. In the comprehensive approach adopted in this project, the system research phases are supplemented by a decision support building component that involves the participation of domain experts and potential users, the development of optimisation methods and the development of user interfaces. Further feedback to the systems phase can result. This phase requires research methods in software development, optimisation methods, soft systems (participatory) approaches. The final design of the DSS is influenced by the involvement of practitioners and potential customers. This involvement is at the analytical, synthesis, prototype and final DSS stages. The priorities established from practitioner and customer involvement affect the pattern of development. This extended approach, including the development of decision support tools, is shown in the following figure.

Research and Development of DSS