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Decision Making for Engineering Systems Design


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
  1. Frame decisions and model preferences under risk.
  2. Apply model-driven and data-driven decision making in engineering design.
  3. Critically evaluate the assumptions and limitations of design decision-making approaches.
  4. Formulate and execute decisions in the presence of other decision makers using game theoretic models.
  5. Adopt an interdisciplinary approach to design across engineering, economics, and social sciences.


Multi-objective decision making under uncertainty; multi-attribute utility theory; applications to engineering design; model-driven and data-driven decision making; Game-theoretic models with applications in engineering systems design; design for market systems; applications to sustainable design and policy.
Fall 2019 Syllabus

Topics Covered:

Context (2 weeks)
  • Course overview
  • Role of decision making in engineering systems design
  • Limitations of some popular decision making methods
  • Elements of a decision problem
Normative Decision Theory (3 weeks)
  • Tradeoffs and decision making under certainty
  • Modeling uncertainty
  • Multi-attribute Utility theory
Applications in Engineering Systems Design (3 weeks)
  • Utility-based selection in design
  • Model-driven decision making (e.g., simulation-based design)
  • Data-driven decision making (e.g., demand modeling; preference models from online reviews)
Descriptive Decision Theory (2 weeks)
  • Deviations from rationality
  • Descriptive decision theories from psychology
Multiple Decision Makers (1 week)
  • Group preferences and aggregation of preferences
  • Collective decision making
Interactive Decisions with Applications (4 weeks)
  • Strategic and extensive form games
  • Nash equilibrium
  • Applications in engineering systems design (e.g., Design for market systems; Negotiation protocols for systems design; Open source product development; Crowdsourcing)
  • Brief overview of mechanism design


Undergraduate degree in Engineering

Applied / Theory:

50 / 50


2-3 assignments during the semester.


1 midterm project and 1 final project


No Exams


None, hand-outs from recent literature provided.

Computer Requirements:

ProEd Minimum Requirements:


Tuition & Fees: