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Saudi Electronic University Modeling Autonomous Decision Making Process Paper

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I’m studying for my Business class and need an explanation.

Read the above Article Titled as ““Modeling Autonomous Decision-Making on Energy and Environmental Management Using Petri-Net: Case Study” by Niken Prilandita, Benjamin McLellan, Tetsuo Tezuka and answer the following Questions:

  • Explain the main issues and challenges discussed in this article titled as Modeling Autonomous Decision-Making on Energy and Environmental Management Using Petri-Net: Case Study”. (500-600 words)
  • What are your opinions about this study and how it is connected to your learning in course and beneficial for you? (300-400 words)

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challenges Article Modeling Autonomous Decision-Making on Energy and Environmental Management Using Petri-Net: The Case Study of a Community in Bandung, Indonesia Niken Prilandita *, Benjamin McLellan and Tetsuo Tezuka Graduate School of Energy Science, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan; b-mclellan@energy.kyoto-u.ac.jp (B.M.); tezuka@energy.kyoto-u.ac.jp (T.T.) * Correspondence: nikenpri@sappk.itb.ac.id; Tel.: +81-75-753-4739; Fax: +81-75-753-9189 Academic Editor: Palmiro Poltronieri Received: 28 December 2015; Accepted: 5 April 2016; Published: 14 April 2016 Abstract: Autonomous decision-making in this study is defined as the process where decision-makers have the freedom and ability to find problems, select goals, and make decisions for achieving the selected problems/goals by themselves. Autonomous behavior is considered significant for achieving decision implementation, especially in the context of energy and environmental management, where multiple stakeholders are involved and each stakeholder holds valuable local information for making decisions. This paper aims to build a structured process in modeling the autonomous decision-making. A practical decision-making process in waste-to-energy conversion activities in a community in Bandung, Indonesia, is selected as a case study. The decision-making process here is considered as a discrete event system, which is then represented as a Petri-net model. First, the decision-making process in the case study is decomposed into discrete events or decision-making stages, and the stakeholders’ properties in each stage are extracted from the case study. Second, several stakeholder properties that indicate autonomous behavior are identified as autonomous properties. Third, presented is a method to develop the decision-making process as a Petri-net model. The model is utilized for identifying the critical points for verifying the performance of the derived Petri-net. Keywords: autonomy; decision-making; Petri-net; energy; environmental; community; Indonesia 1. Introduction The recent global agenda and technological challenges for creating a more sustainable environment have encouraged countries around the world to gradually shift towards sustainable energy transitions. Upon the new global agreement of Sustainable Development Goals, every country is now highly anticipated to direct their efforts towards realizing a more sustainable energy system and environment [1]. From the technology side, the emergence of new technologies, such as smart grids and source-centered renewable energies, have expanded the potential and requirements of energy generation and management in ways that have not been available previously. These facts suggest that the energy system is likely to become more distributed and localized, thus the decision-making and policy-making process in the energy sector should be adjusted to follow this future tendency [2]. Most decisions made on energy and environmental management affect a large number of people and, thus, are of public interest. Decision-making in this sector usually becomes complicated since various interests need to be accommodated in the process. Moreover, once a consensus has been successfully reached, it does not guarantee successful implementation. Various decision-making approaches for reaching an easy consensus, as well as for achieving successful implementation, have been proposed. Two common approaches in decision-making are with the centralized and the Challenges 2016, 7, 9; doi:10.3390/challe7010009 www.mdpi.com/journal/challenges Challenges 2016, 7, 9 2 of 26 decentralized approaches [3,4]. The quest of balancing between the centralized and the decentralized systems for decision-making is often an issue in organizational management. Easy access to information with the advancement of information technology, the internet, and other means today, have made the decision-making style in organizations lean towards a more decentralized style [5,6]. However, this approach may not be entirely applicable for cases in energy and environmental management that occur in the public domain. This study puts more focus on autonomy in decision-making processes regardless of whether they are conducted under a centralized or a decentralized system. Two ways of understanding the concept of autonomy are considered here. Firstly, autonomy in the political or public administration field, which is often seen as one of the traits of a more decentralized system [4]. Secondly, as understood in the current study, autonomy can be considered as a property of persons regardless of the systemic context [7–9]. Therefore, we argue that autonomy can exist in both centralized and decentralized approaches because autonomy is the property of each decision-maker. The hypothesis of this study is that decisions made autonomously are more likely to achieve successful outcomes. Autonomy in making decisions is believed to be related to an increase in quality of life. Research from neuroscience has found that actively making decisions can boost pleasure and increase the decision-makers’ happiness, satisfaction, and perceived control [10]. Furthermore, high levels of happiness and satisfaction are causal influences on success and achievement, not the other way around [11]. Simply stated, if a decision-maker has made an autonomous decision, without being coerced or forced, it is considered more likely that the decision-maker will achieve the decision goal and benefit from that. Normatively, stakeholders’ autonomy in making decisions is important, though its important role in decision-making may not been objectively examined [7]. The fact that we have not found studies that objectively examined the role of autonomy in decision-making in energy-environmental management showed that this theme has to date been insufficiently examined. We argue that the recent global agenda and technological advances in the energy-environmental sector (e.g., smart-grid technologies, decentralized energy, and market liberalization) expect decision-makers to become more autonomous. This situation has created the necessity to develop a framework that can represent and identify the role of stakeholders’ autonomy in the decision-making process. Such a framework would consist of several elements employed for specific tasks, and is the purpose of the current research. This paper discusses one of the important elements of the framework, a model that aims to represent, analyze, and simulate the autonomous decision-making process. The autonomous decision-making model in this paper is developed as a discrete event system, and this paper presents the method to build such a model. The decision-making process is decomposed into discrete events that we call decision-making stages. Afterwards, the properties of stakeholders involved in each stage are identified; thus, the concept of a discrete event system for autonomous decision-making is established. Petri-net is utilized to represent the discrete event system of the autonomous decision-making process. Each decision-making stage, the stakeholders’ properties, and the state after decisions are made; corresponding to a small Petri-net model consisting of a few transitions and places. The autonomous decision-making model is constructed by combining all of these small Petri-net models of each event/stage. As an addition, we conducted analysis of the Petri-net model’s behavior for identifying the stages which are indispensable for an autonomous decision-making system. These stages are called the critical points in the autonomous decision-making process. 2. The Definition of Autonomous Decision-Making This section explains the definition of autonomous decision-making. The term, autonomous decision-making is defined by dissecting it into the root words comprising it, which are “autonomy” and “decision-making”. The development of the concept of autonomy as a political and personal property is historically explained, followed by a brief explanation on various scopes of the Challenges 2016, 7, 9 3 of 26 decision-making process, and various types of energy decision-making. Based on this information, we construct the definition of autonomous decision-making used in this study. 2.1. The Concept of Autonomy The definition of autonomy has been through several changes throughout the course of history. As mentioned above, there are at least two different concepts of autonomy explained in this paper. Autonomy originated from the Greek words “auto” which means self, and “nomos” which means law. This concept was firstly coined referring to the city states in ancient Greece that were self-governing. Originally, autonomy was defined in a political manner, which was the right of the states (or city-states, in that instance) to administer their own affairs [9]. In the context of public administration management, territorial or local autonomy is the result of a decentralization process [12]. In the Indonesian context for example, the Law of Decentralization number 22/1999, was the beginning of the country’s journey towards a more decentralized political structure. This law has since become the legal basis for providing more autonomy to local governments in making decisions regarding their own territory and environment. The spirit of the law has had a side effect, however, in that it caused the Indonesian people to gain greater awareness of autonomy, knowing that they had more freedom in choosing among options. This has promoted decision-making processes to be performed more autonomously in various levels of society’s hierarchical structure, including at the lower authority levels, such as villages and sub-districts [13]. Looking at this fact, the term autonomy in Indonesia has gradually become understood not only as the property of a state or territory, but also as a personal trait. One of the most important moments in the history of the concept of autonomy was when the definition of autonomy was transformed from the property of a state in the ancient Greek era, into a property of persons during the Renaissance era [7,8]. Since then, the concept of autonomy has been understood in both ways. However, autonomy in the majority of contemporary works is seen as a property of persons, or personal autonomy [7]. Although the concept of autonomy mainly revolves around these two definitions, the dimensions of autonomy are understood in many different ways, depending on which field of study is viewing it. Mackenzie, for example, defined three dimensions of autonomy, namely self-determination, self-governance, and self-authorization [14]. Other studies focus on the self-directedness and resoluteness dimensions of autonomy [9]. Meanwhile, the computer science and information technology fields view the ability to continuously learn or self-learning traits in the emergence of autonomous machines or artificial intelligence as one of the most important characteristics of autonomy [15]. 2.2. Decision-Making Process The definition of decision-making has been long established, and since decision-making is understood as a process of making decisions, then the definitions mostly evolved on the scope of the process. There are two predominately different views in decision theory regarding the extent of the decision-making scope. Firstly, decision-making is defined as a process started by identifying problems or goals, and ended after a decision has been made. One of the main supporters of this concept was Herbert Simon (1960) [16]. Later, Huber (1980) expanded the concept of decision-making by defining it as “the process through which a course of action is taken” [17], and the process by which the decision is implemented is considered as part of the problem-solving process. Most of the studies that defined the decision-making process came from the field of organizational management. Meanwhile when decisions need to be made in the public domain, the decision-making process is often regarded as the whole cycle from problem identification up to decision implementation and evaluation, and then feeding-back to problem identification. This is known as a generic decision cycle [18], or a planning process [19]. An example of a decision-making cycle is presented in Figure 1. In this study, we investigate the decision-making process extended to the implementation stages. Challenges 2016, 7, 9 Challenges 2016, 7, 9 4 of 27 4 of 26 Figure 1. Example of a decision-making cycle [18,19]. Figure 1. Example of a decision-making cycle [18,19]. 2.3. Energy-Environmental Energy-Environmental Decision-Making Decision-Making at Various Stakeholder 2.3. at Various Stakeholder Levels Levels The following following section section explains explains decision-making decision-making in in energy energy and and environment by various The environment by various stakeholders, such as national government, local government (provincial/city/regency governments, stakeholders, such as national government, local government (provincial/city/regency governments, and formal formal agencies/bodies agencies/bodieswithin withinthese theselocal localgovernments), governments), community, community, household household and and individual individual and (households and individuals are considered as a single decision-maker), and non-governmental (households and individuals are considered as a single decision-maker), and non-governmental institutions (i.e., local NGOs, business or private sector sector stakeholders, media, experts institutions (i.e.,international internationaland and local NGOs, business or private stakeholders, media, and academicians). As mentioned earlier, decision-making in energy and environmental management experts and academicians). As mentioned earlier, decision-making in energy and environmental often becomesoften complex because it occurs in the and, therefore, various stakeholders management becomes complex because it public occurs domain in the public domain and, therefore, various are involved are in it.involved According toAccording Sexton, et al. [20], theetmain stakeholders that are usually in stakeholders in it. to Sexton, al. [20], the main stakeholders that involved are usually environment-related decision-making are national governments, regional or local government bodies, involved in environment-related decision-making are national governments, regional or local business associations, environmental advocacyenvironmental groups, community or neighborhood groups, and government bodies, business associations, advocacy groups, community or affected or interested individuals. The relationships between these stakeholders can be classified neighborhood groups, and affected or interested individuals. The relationships between these into two typescan of relationship, are types vertical horizontal (parallel) relationships stakeholders be classified which into two of (hierarchical) relationship, and which are vertical (hierarchical) and with each other [21,22]. Decision-making for individual stakeholders and groups of stakeholders is horizontal (parallel) relationships with each other [21,22]. Decision-making for individual influenced both by the structure of relationships and the characteristics of the individual stakeholders. stakeholders and groups of stakeholders is influenced both by the structure of relationships and the Energy related and policy-making (We use the phrase “energy (and environmental) characteristics of thedecision-making individual stakeholders. decision-making and policy-making” or “decision-making in energy in this paper Energy related decision-making and policy-making (Wesector” use interchangeably the phrase “energy (and because the research object is related with both energy and environmental sector.) at the national level environmental) decision-making and policy-making” or “decision-making in energy sector” tends to occur in aintop-down manner, following the hierarchical of the country’s institutions. interchangeably this paper because the research object structure is related with both energy and In the UK, for example, energy decision-making functions have historically been performed mainly by the the environmental sector.) at the national level tends to occur in a top-down manner, following central government and large corporations in the private sector. This situation began to change after the hierarchical structure of the country’s institutions. In the UK, for example, energy decision-making Localism Bill was stipulatedbeen in 2010 aiming tomainly shift decision-making power from and central governments to functions have historically performed by the central government large corporations individuals, communities, and local government [23,24]. Another example is from a developing country, in the private sector. This situation began to change after the Localism Bill was stipulated in 2010 Indonesia, where for more than two decades thegovernments first nationaltoenergy policy was introduced in aiming to shift decision-making power from since central individuals, communities, and 1981, the key strategic energy decisions and policies are made centrally by the national government [25]. local government [23,24]. Another example is from a developing country, Indonesia, where for more The role local government thenational energy sector was recognized after the promulgation thestrategic Energy than twoofdecades since the in first energy policy was introduced in 1981, the of key Act in 2007. The act each localcentrally government to national formulate its own local energy masterplan, energy decisions andmandates policies are made by the government [25]. The role of local based on the targets outlined by the national energy masterplan. government in the energy sector was recognized after the promulgation of the Energy Act in 2007. Recent experiences from both countries have shown that theenergy local authorities mandated The act mandates each local government to formulate its own local masterplan,are based on the and expected to have more capacity in energy decision-making functions. The long period of targets outlined by the national energy masterplan. centralized energy decision-making experience in both countries has created a great challenge for Recent experiences from both countries have shown that the local authorities are mandated and the local to capacity pick up in theenergy task. Lack of capacity of the localThe government with regards to expected authorities to have more decision-making functions. long period of centralized energy planning, and limited guidelines on how to formulate the masterplan itself, are some of energy decision-making experience in both countries has created a great challenge for the local the challenges faced by the locals. Despite the limited capacity and experience, local governments authorities to pick up the task. Lack of capacity of the local government with regards to energy around theand world have developed energy-environmental measures and localare action plans, planning, limited guidelinesvarious on how to formulate the masterplan itself, some of as thea Challenges 2016, 7, 9 5 of 26 form of participation in global initiatives such as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and the Climate Alliance [26]. Aside from having a mandate to implement energy-environmental measures at the local level, local authorities are also expected to involve and nurture the community or grassroots levels in local energy initiatives [27]. Energy decision-making functions at the community level have been empirically observed in North America [28–30]. Most of the decisions and measures taken are on climate change mitigation planning, considered as the re-emergence of the energy planning efforts which increased after the oil crisis in the 1970s, but late ...
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Running head: MODELING AUTONOMOUS DECISION MAKING PROCESS

Modeling Autonomous Decision Making Process

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MODELING AUTONOMOUS DECISION MAKING PROCESS

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The article “Modeling Autonomous Decision-Making on Energy and Environmental
Management Using Petri-Net: Case Study“focuses on autonomous decision making processes in
both centralized and decentralized systems (Prilandita , McLellan & Tezuka, 2016). In the study,
autonomous decision making is defined as the process where decision makers are given freedom
and facilitated to find problems, identify goals, and responsibly make decisions to achieve the
identified goals by themselves based on the available information. Accordingly, it is
hypothesized that decisions made autonomously have higher chances of successful outcomes
thus increasing the quality of life. The article presents an autonomous decision making process
for energy and environmental management process by using Petri-net model in Rukun Warga, an
Indonesian community. The decision making process is regarded as discrete event represented as
a Petri-net model. Consequently, the decision making process is first decomposed into stages or
discrete events followed by identification of stakeholders properties that signify autonomous
behavior. Finally, a method is presented to develop the decision making as a Petr...

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