Jean-Pierre Brans & Pierre Kunsch

Professor Jean-Pierre Brans

JEAN_PIERRE BRANS PHOTOJean-Pierre Brans received his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the ULB/VUB University of Brussels (1966).  He has been Professor in these Universities since 1964 and dean of the VUB-Solvay Business school (1975-78).  He has held visiting professorships at the universities of Kinshasa, Constantine, Aix-en-Provence, ENST (Brest), ENSTA (Paris), AIT (Bangkok), KUL (Leuven), and Lulea (Sweden).  He has taught on statistical analysis, OR, MCDA, mathematical programming and system dynamics.  Prof. Brans has been president of the Belgian OR society (1975-78), president of EURO K Conference and organisor of the first one in Brussels (1975), initiator of the EURO Summer Institutes and organisor of the two first ones, initiator of the MINI EURO Conferences and organisor of the 1st, the 7th and the 12th ones.  He has presented over 100 invited lectures all over the world and published over 100 papers in international scientific journals.  He is the initiator of the PROMETHEE-GAIA Methodology and has written one book on this subject with B. Mareschal.  He received teh EURO Gold Medal 1994, Doctor Honoris Causa from Copenhagen (2000) and Doctor Honoris Causa from Fribourg (2002).  He has been Elected Professor of the year by the Students of the VUB University Brussels in 2002.


Professor Pierre Kunsch

Pierre Louis Kunsch born in 1947 has a Master in Physics from Université de Liège (Belgium, 1969), a PhD in Science from ETHZ Federal School of Technology Zürich (Switzerland, 1977), and a Higher Education Tenure in Operations Research (OR) from ULB Université Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels (Belgium, 1996).
His career combines technical, economic and OR studies in both industrial and academic environments.
Today he teaches OR and system dynamics at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Brussels. His main research domains are energy economics, multiple-criteria analysis, environmental economics, modelling and simulation of complex socio-economic systems with system dynamics and agent-based modelling.
He has published about 100 scientific articles and book chapters on these topics. He is past President and Delegate Administrator of ORBEL, the Belgian OR Society


Talk : Ethics and Decision

Jean-Pierre Brans and Pierre Kunsch

Although the pace of progress continues fast and in a positive way in today’s world, many problems may arise because ethical issues are often completely ignored by decision makers. Ethics is a philosophical concept implying respect in all human, economic, social and environmental dimensions in a decision process. Its nature is dynamic, and this makes it a concern in an increasingly complex world.

In a first part of the talk an overview will be given on the evolution in the last decades in Operations Research in general and Decision Support Systems (DSS) in particular, moving from mono-criterion optimisation approaches to multiple-criterion decision-making.  Though Ethics seems to be at the origin a rather abstract philosophical concept, the authors’ tenet is that ethical values can and must be integrated into quantitative modelling. A methodology called ASCM, standing for Adaptive, Systemic, Control and Multi-criteria based methodology, is proposed to that aim by the authors to approach real-world problems. It includes multi-criteria analysis – here the well-known PROMETHEE methodology can be used in practice – incorporated into a wider dynamic decision-making process using systemic techniques – here in practice system dynamics or agent-based modelling. ASCM looks extremely promising for innovative DSS developments. It allows controlling and monitoring the evolution of human systems in a structured way, not ignoring important ethical aspects.

In a second part of the talk, examples of complex decision making processes in today’s world involving important ethical dimensions will be presented within the ASCM framework.