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National Science Foundation Workshop
Date: 10/29/15
The Westin Arlington Gateway, 801 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA, 22203

Abstract: The purpose of this workshop was to explore state-of-art methods for characterizing preference, value, and utility functions for systems engineering. A second objective was to explore methods for handling uncertainty. Characterizing preference, value, and utility enables decision makers to make quality decisions about a system. Preference, value and utility need not be linear functions of the various components of a system, and they depend on the engineering phenomena present. For example, value considerations in a high-speed machining job might consider various configurations of axial depth and spindle speed and their relation to tool life in order to maximize profit. Value can also include other attributes besides profit such as safety or environmental contributions. Because uncertainty is inherent in any system, the workshop will also discuss method for handling uncertainty.

Workshop Objectives:  Clarifying preference, value, and utility

.       Discussing state-of-art methods for characterizing preference, value and utility in systems engineering

.       Explaining common pitfalls in constructing preference, value, and utility functions in engineering

.       Increasing awareness about the importance of characterizing preference, value, and utility from engineering phenomenon in systems engineering, e.g. value functions for high speed milling or value characterizing in various engineering systems applications

.       Compiling a list of papers on the topic and having a special issue in a journal

Intended Audience:  Academia, Industry, Government