Adaptive Decision Support for Structured Organizations: A Case for OrgPOMDPs

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Conference Proceeding Article

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In today's world, organizations are faced with increasingly large and complex problems that require decision-making under uncertainty. Current methods for optimizing such decisions fall short of handling the problem scale and time constraints. We argue that this is due to existing methods not exploiting the inherent structure of the organizations which solve these problems. We propose a new model called the OrgPOMDP (Organizational POMDP), which is based on the partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP). This new model combines two powerful representations for modeling large scale problems: hierarchical modeling and factored representations. In this paper we make three key contributions: (a) Introduce the OrgPOMDP model; (b) Present an algorithm to solve OrgPOMDP problems efficiently; and (c) Apply OrgPOMDPs to scenarios in an existing large organization, the Air and Space Operation Center (AOC). We conduct experiments and show that our Org-POMDP approach results in greater scalability and greatly reduced runtime. In fact, as the size of the problem increases, we soon reach a point at which the OrgPOMDP approach continues to provide solutions while traditional POMDP methods cannot. We also provide an empirical evaluation to highlight the benefits of an organization implementing an OrgPOMDP policy.


POMDPs, Organizations, Decision Support, Uncertainty, Algorithms, Management


Artificial Intelligence and Robotics | Business | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering

Research Areas

Intelligent Systems and Decision Analytics


Proceedings of the 10th International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS '11)

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