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mDSS is a decision support system for natural resources management based on the DSPIR framework


mDSS, part of the NetSyMoD approach for the assessment of and decision support for natural resources management, is an original software application, developed since circa. 2001, that permits the application of several (and or multiple) variants of MCA that use different pairwise ranking techniques. It is therefore very closely related to the AHP method, also discussed in the decision-making initiative of weADAPT, but it comes under the classification of MCA methods. It is a conceptually well founded (based on the DSPIR framework) and relatively mature (current version 5.x) decision support system.

According to mDSS documentation “the main aim of MCA is to reduce the “multidimensionality” of decision problems – the multivariate option performances – into a single measure enabling an effective ranking. The heart of any MCA decision rule is therefore an aggregation procedure.” The flexibility of the tool can be found in the different ways of connecting existing data, including use of multiple types of data (including temporal and spatial data), with different ways of eliciting preferential data based on expert judgement and the application of different algorithms for analysing these data.

The selection of algorithm variants is based on the philosophy of not limiting users to a prescribed method, but facilitating exploration and comparison of different methods, and it is therefore similar in spirit to the approach adopted by the Climate Adaptation Options Explorer (ADx).

mDSS interface: Scenario frame with climate change as Exogenous Driver

Application to adaptation decision-making

Recent applications of mDSS have mainly been made in the field of climate change adaptation. Development of the software has been based on providing an extended DPSIR framework to include exogenous drivers such as climate change. Exogenous drivers allow the consideration of scenarios (or multiple scenarios) and therefore climate information can now be used. The demand for decision support in this area is strong.

Related publications are:

Mysiak, J., Giupponi, C., & Rosato, P., (2005), ‘Towards the development of a decision support system for water resource management’, Environmental Modelling and Software, 20(2), 203-214. see the paper on Science Direct

Giupponi, C., (2007), ‘Decision Support Systems for Implementing the European Water Framework Directive: the MULINO approach’, Environmental Modelling and Software, 22(2), 248-258. see the paper on Science Direct

The developers are moving towards supplying more tailored versions for different users, for example, web based tailored versions for e-participation in the analysis of alternatives (see for example

mDSS homepage

mDSS and NetSyMoD

Other related pages





Analyitic Hierarchy Process (AHP)


Related resources

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