Nonlinear optimisation

In Open Design methodology the preferences of stakeholders are assumed to be of a linear nature. For instance, the price per square meter for a parking lot is kept the same for a relatively small parking lot as for a large one. The stakeholder may be prepared, however, to pay more per square meter for a small parking lot to be used by VIPs only. This Chapter describes a method to take such non-linear preference behaviour into account, under the assumption that the non-linear preference behaviour follows an exponential pattern (De Graaf and Van Gunsteren, 2002). The relevant stakeholder has to specify three equivalent alternatives, instead of two as required in the linear case. A numerical example shows that the non-linearity of stakeholder's preferences can significantly affect the outcome. The validity of the assumption of exponential preference behaviour can be tested by asking stakeholders more than three equivalent alternatives.

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