Combining morphological analysis and Bayesian networks for strategic decision support

  • A de Waal Meraka Institute, CSIR
  • T Ritchey Ritchey Consulting


Morphological analysis (MA) and Bayesian networks (BN) are two closely related modelling methods, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages for strategic decision support modelling. MA is a method for defining, linking and evaluating problem spaces. BNs are graphical models which consist of a qualitative and quantitative part. The qualitative part is a cause-and-effect, or causal graph. The quantitative part depicts the strength of the causal relationships between variables. Combining MA and BN, as two phases in a modelling process, allows us to gain the benefits of both of these methods. The strength of MA lies in defining, linking and internally evaluating the parameters of problem spaces and BN modelling allows for the definition and quantification of causal relationships between variables. Short summaries of MA and BN are provided in this paper, followed by discussions how these two computer aided methods may be combined to better facilitate modelling procedures. A simple example is presented, concerning a recent application in the field of environmental decision support.


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