Keywords: hybrid cars, hierarchical decision making, decision modelling, pairwise comparison models, alternative energy, alternative fuels, hybrid vehicles, automotive selection, automobile industry
Choosing a hybrid car using a hierarchical decision model
This paper describes and analyses an operational decision model of the customer decision process in selecting a new hybrid automobile. Three types of extreme customer profiles are introduced which represent disparate customers of hybrid cars. These profiles provide rankings, or priorities, which are used to establish a baseline of possible user entry. A hierarchical decision model (HDM) implemented in Microsoft Excel uses these priorities, along with expert's pairwise comparisons of the effects of vehicle attributes on these priorities, to select a vehicle make and model from a database of cars and their attributes. An iterative process is described to fine-tune the attribute weightings, or to obtain alternate choices. After the expert weightings are tuned using the three extreme profiles, users need only to enter their priorities for the HDM to choose the best hybrid matching their criteria. Finally, the model is critiqued and suggestions are offered for improvement.