Main Problems/Approaches

1. Problem Formulation (selection/design/modification of mathematical model that corresponds to applied problem/situation)
2. Basic Problem Structuring in Decision Making: description of a decision problem as "alternatives - criteria - scales for evaluation" (for basic decision making problems as ranking/selection; H. Simon)
3. Structuring a complex application as a framework of problems/mathematical models and decision situations.
4. Structuring procecedures based on libraries of typical applied problems / mathematical models.

Structuring in Decision Making

  • Web-HIPPE Global Decision Support (Helsinki Univ. of Technology, Finland)
  • Decision Explorer


  • Operations Research
  • Computers and Operations Research
  • Europear Journal of Operational Research
  • J. of the Operations Research Society
  • Decision Support Systems
  • IEEE Trans. on Computers
  • IEEE Trans. on Systems, Man, Cybernetics
  • Systems Research and Behavioral Science
  • Systemic Practice and Action Research
  • Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence
  • Group Decision and Negotiation
  • Advances in Engineering Software
  • Int. J. of Technology, Policy and Management
  • Informatica (Lith.)
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Int. J. of Computer Application in Tehcnology


  • Books
    1. R.L. Ackoff, The Art of Problem Solving Accompanied by Ackoff's Fables. Wiley, 1987.
    2. G.S. Altshuller, The innovation algorithm: TRIZ, systemic innovation and technical creativity. Worcester, Technical Innovation Center, Inc. 1999.
    3. G.S. Altshuller, Creativity as Exact Science. Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, New York, 1984.
    4. A.B. Van Gundy, Techniques of structured problem solving. New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988.
    5. M.Sh. Levin, Decision Support Technology for Modular Systems. Electronic book. 341 pp. (in Russian). 2013.
    6. M.Sh. Levin, Modular System Design and Evaluation. Springer, 473 p., 2015 (Due: Sep. 2014).
    7. G.F. Luger, Artificial Intelligence: Structures and Strategies for Complex Problem Solving. Addison-Wesley, Essex, UK, 2002.
    8. J. Nelsson, Problem Solving Methods in Artitifial Intelligence. McGraw Hill, New York, 1971.
    9. A. Newell, H.A. Simon, Human Problem Solving. NJ: Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 1972.
    10. Tom Ritchey, Wicked Problems - Social Messes. Decision Support Modelling with Morphological Analysis. Springer, 2011.
    11. F. Zwicky, Discovery Invention, Research Through the Morphological Approach. New York, McMillan, 1969.

  • Surveys
    1. R.L. Ackoff, E. Vergara, Creativity in problem solving and planning: a review, EJOR, 7, 1-13, 1981.
    2. D.C. Brown, Problem solving methods: Past, present, and future. AI EDAM, 23(4), 327-329, 2009.
    3. B. Lehaney, S. Martin, S. Clarke, A review of problem structuring methodologies, Systemist, 19, 11-28, 1997.
    4. W.E. Souder, R.W. Ziegler, A Review of Creativity and Problem Solving Techniques. Research Management, 20(4), 34-42, 1977.
    5. R.N. Wooley, M. Pidd, Problem structuring: a literature review, J. of the ORS, 32, 197-206, 1981.

  • Papers
    1. N. Becattini, Yu. Borgianni, G. Cascini, F. Rotini, Model and algorithm for computer-aided inventive problem analysis. CAD, 44(10), 961-986, 2012.
    2. C.H. Dorst, N.G. Cross, Creativity in the design process: Co-evolution of problem-solution. Design Studies, 22, 425-437, 2001.
    3. C. Eden, F. Ackerman, Where next for problem structuring methods. JORS, vol. 57, no. 7, pp.766-768, 2006.
    4. P. Keys, On becoming expert on the use of problem structuring methods. JORS, vol. 57, no. 7, pp. 822-829, 2006.
    5. P. Keys, Developing a design science for the use of problem structuring methods. Systemic Practice and Action Research, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 333-349, 2007.
    6. P. Keys, Knowledge work, design science and problem structuring methodology. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 523-535, 2007.
    7. N. Khomenko, R. De Guio, L. Lelait, I. Kaikov, A framework for OTSM-TRIZ based computer support to be used in complex problem management.
    Int. J. of Computer Application in Technology, 30, 88-104, 2007.
    8. M.Sh. Levin, Towards k-set frameworks in multicriteria combinatorial optimization.
    In: K.J. Engemann, G.E. Lasker (Eds.), Proc. of 11th Symp. on Decision Technology and Intelligent Information Systems
    (with The 22nd Int. Conf. on Systems Research, Informatics & Cybernetics - InterSymp'2010),
    vol. XI, The Int. Inst. for Advanced Studies in Syst. Res. and Cybern., Baden-Baden, 37-41, 2010.
    9. M.Sh. Levin, K-Set frameworks in multicriteria combinatorial optimization. Int. J. of Technology, Policy and Management, 11(1), 85-95, 2011.
    (journal site)
    10. M.Sh. Levin, Four-layer framework for combinatorial optimization problems domain. Advances in Engineering Software, 42(12), 1089-1098, 2011
    (journal site)
    11. A.P. Massey, W.A. Wallace, Understanding and facilitating group problem structuring and formulation: mental representation, interaction, and representation aid. DSS, 17, 253-274, 1996.
    12. J. Minger, J. Rosenhead, Problem structuring methods in action. EJOR, vol. 152, no. 3, pp. 530-554, 2004.
    13. M. Minsky, A framework for representing knowledge. In: Winston P.H. (ed) The Psychology of Computer Vision. McGraw-Hill, New York, pp. 211-277, 1975.
    14. T. Ritchey, Problem structuring using computer-aided morphological analysis. J. of the ORS, 57, 792-801, 2006.
    15. J. Rosenhead, Past, present and future of problem structuring methods. JORS, vol. 57, no. 7, pp. 759-765, 2006.
    16. E.A.J.A. Rouwette, J.A.M. Vennix, A.J.A. Felling, On evaluating the performance of problem structuring methods: An attempt at formulating a conceptual model.
    Group Decision and Negotiation, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 567-587, 2009.
    17. R. Scheubrein, S. Zionts, A problem structuring front and for a multiple criteria decision support system. Computers and Operations Research, 33(1), 18-31, 2006.
    18. B. Shneiderman, Creativity support tools: Accelerating discovery and innovation. Commun. of the ACM, 50, 20-32, 2007.
    19. H.A. Simon, A. Newell, Heuristic problem solving: The next advance in operaitons research. Operations Research, 6(1), 1-10, 1958.
    20. H.A. Simon, The structure of ill-structured problems. Artificial Intelligence, 4, 181-201, 1973.
    21. L. White, Understanding problem structuring methods interventions. EJOR, vol. 199, no. 3, pp. 823-833, 2009.
    22. A. Wiek, A.I. Walter, A transdisciplinary approach for formalized integrated planning and decision-making in complex systems. EJOR, vol. 197, no. 1, pp. 360-370, 2009.
    23. D. von Winterfeld, and B. Fasolo, Structuring decision problems: A case study and reflections for practitioners. EJOR, vol. 199, no. 3 (pp. 857-866, 2009.

  • Electronic Preprints
    1. M.Sh. Levin, Multiset estimates and combinatorial synthesis. Electronic preprint. 30 pp., May 9, 2012. [cs.SY]

    2. M.Sh. Levin, Note on combinatorial engineering frameworks for hierarchical modular systems. Electronic preprint. 11 pp., Mar. 29, 2013. [math.OC]

  • PhD Dissertations
    1. R. Horowitz, Creative problem solving in engineering design. PhD Thesis, Faculty of Engineerinjg, Tel-Aviv University, 1999.
    2. V. Souchkov, Knowledge-based Support for Innovative Design. PhD Thesis, Univ. of Twente, Twente, 1998.