Although Multi-Criteria Decision Making methods have been extensively used in energy planning, their descriptive use has been rarely considered. In this paper, we add an evolutionary description phase as an extension to the AHP method that helps policy makers to gain insights into their decision problems. The proposed extension has been implemented in an open-source software that allows the users to visualise the difference of opinions within a decision process, and also the evolution of preferences over time. The method was tested in a two-phase experiment to understand the evolution of opinions on energy sources. Participants were asked to provide their preferences for different energy sources for the next twenty years for the United Kingdom. They were first asked to compare the options intuitively without using any structured approach, and then were given three months to compare the same set of options after collecting detailed information. The proposed visualization method allows us to quickly discover the preference directions, and also the changes in their preferences from first to second phase. The proposed tool can help policy makers in better understanding of the energy planning problems that will lead us towards better planning and decisions in the energy sector.
- Multi Criteria Decision making
- Energy planning
- Group judgments