Impact of visual models on risk attitude and decision tradeoffs in aircraft component repair

Aaron Thomas Joseph, James H. Schreiner, Deborah L Thurston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Designers employ both structured and unstructured decision processes. Normative decision processes typically prevail during the early phases of product development, design and construction. As the product is being manufactured and placed into service, decision processes can become more decentralized, and become more heuristic in nature. While necessary and useful, heuristics can sometimes cloud the decision makers' comprehension of tradeoffs under uncertainty. The specific problem addressed here is that heuristics can quickly become out of touch as emerging technology replaces traditional technology. This paper presents a method for use during the operations and maintenance phase to include interactive and visual models to improve the decision makers' understanding of the problem regardless of the degree of decision making structure, and thus lead to greater decision quality. An example using the aviation industry's migration towards composite airframe fuselages illustrates the method. The manufacturing process often entails on-site component repair, which requires making difficult decisions under uncertainty. In this case, the decisions required during the repair process are complex. Nine engineering graduate students took part in this proof in concept research with a conclusion that a full experimental design is warranted to establish statistical significance in their assessments of tradeoffs under uncertainty and risk attitude. Results of applying the new method indicate the benefit of equipping decision makers with interactive visual models as we observe changes in risk attitude and clarity of understanding tradeoffs under uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2015
PublisherInstitute of Industrial Engineers
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780983762447
StatePublished - 2015
EventIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2015 - Nashville, United States
Duration: May 30 2015Jun 2 2015

Publication series

NameIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2015


OtherIIE Annual Conference and Expo 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Decision analysis
  • Multi-attribute utility analysis
  • Repair
  • Risk attitude
  • Tradeoffs under uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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