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Multi-criteria decision analysis in Bayesian networks - Diagnosing ecosystem service trade-offs in a hydropower regulated river

Barton, David N., Sundt, Håkon, Bustos, Ana Adeva, Fjeldstad, Hans-Petter, Hedger, Richard, Forseth, Torbjørn, Berit Köhler,, Aas, Øystein, Alfredsen, Knut, Madsen, Anders L.
Environmental modelling & software 2020 v.124 pp. 104604
Bayesian theory, Salmo salar, aesthetics, design for environment, ecosystem services, habitats, income, models, multi-criteria decision making, remediation, rivers, stakeholders, uncertainty, variance, water power, Norway
The paper demonstrates the use of Bayesian networks in multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) of environmental design alternatives for environmental flows (eflows) and physical habitat remediation measures in the Mandalselva River in Norway. We demonstrate how MCDA using multi-attribute value functions can be implemented in a Bayesian network with decision and utility nodes. An object-oriented Bayesian network is used to integrate impacts computed in quantitative sub-models of hydropower revenues and Atlantic salmon smolt production and qualitative judgement models of mesohabitat fishability and riverscape aesthetics. We show how conditional probability tables are useful for modelling uncertainty in value scaling functions, and variance in criteria weights due to different stakeholder preferences. While the paper demonstrates the technical feasibility of MCDA in a BN, we also discuss the challenges of providing decision-support to a real-world habitat remediation process.