Use of mathematical models to generate alternative solutions to water resources planning problems

Chang S Y.; Brill, E.D.Jr; Hopkins, L.D.

Water Resources Research 18(1): 58-64

1982


ISSN/ISBN: 0043-1397
DOI: 10.1029/wr018i001p00058
Accession: 006879742

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Abstract
An optimization model is generally not a perfect representation of a complex real world planning problem. Optimization models can be used to generate alternatives. Modeling to generate alternatives (MGA) techniques were designed to serve this purpose. This paper provides a preliminary assessment of the capabilities of the Hop, Skip, Jump (HSJ) method, a random method and a branch and bound/screening (BBS) method for generating good and different alternative solutions. These 3 methods are illustrated using an example water resources planning problem represented by a mixed integer programming model. Each method yields sets of alternatives that are different from each other, but for each method the alternatives are different in different ways. Given that all 3 methods are efficient, it may be best to use > 1 method and to consider alternatives that are not only different, but different in different ways.