Effectiveness in Decision-Making in Ship Design under Uncertainty
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- Institutt for marin teknikk 
The objective of this thesis is to develop a better understanding of how to carry out more effective conceptual ship design processes. Under the premise that uncertainty influences the effectiveness of the decision-making process in ship design, it is argued that to improve the way daily ship design activities are carried out, it is necessary to understand the uncertainty present in such processes. It is also necessary for ship designers to know how to reduce the negative effects of uncertainty. This research tries to find answers to the following research questions: What are the important uncertainties in conceptual ship design, and how do they influence effective decision-making? The research question is explored using a multi/mixed-method denominated exploratory design research. It consists of exploring a phenomenon based on a qualitative evaluation and then probing quantitatively the extracted hypothesis. The initial analysis requires a deep evaluationof uncertainties in the ship design domain as perceived by the different actors involved in the conceptual design phase of new ships. Particular attention is given to the role of the ship owner in the design process. An extensive literature review is carried out to explore the role of uncertainty in ship design decision-making. An investigative model is developed based on this literature study. Further, our developed investigative model is tested using multivariate regression analysis. The data analysed was collected through an online survey involving 23 shipping companies. This research has confirmed a relationship between the independent and dependent constructs uncertainty and decision-making effectiveness. Uncertainty is found to explain 14% of the variability of decision-making effectiveness in conceptual ship design processes. Furthermore, uncertainty is also confirmed to consist of five factors: (i) context, (ii) agent, (iii) input, (iv)model and (v) process. These factors contribute differently to the decision-making effectiveness. The independent factors context, agent and model have a positive effect on decision-making effectiveness, meaning that the higher the emphasis given to these factors in the design process, the higher the decision-making effectiveness of the design process. The independent factor context has the most significant effect (19.5%), followed by the independent factors agent (19.0%) and model (15.9%), respectively. The independent factors process (-30.9%) and input (-19.7%) have been found to have, surprisingly, a negative effect on the effectiveness of the conceptual design process, meaning, and contrary to literature findings, the higher the emphasis given to these factors during the design process, the lower the effectiveness of the ship design process. Among the 43 items describing the five factors of uncertainty, regulations (context uncertainty) were perceived by shipping companies as the most critical factor. This is likely due to the ongoing environmental regulatory transformation, in particular, the IMO (International Maritime Organization) 2020 emission requirements. The experience of the stakeholders involved in the newbuilding project (agent uncertainty) is perceived as the second most influential item in terms of importance to the overall perception of uncertainty. For example, market studies are a useful tool for shipowners and designers to select experienced partners or suppliers in their future projects. The third most important item is the economic performance of the vessel design (context uncertainty). This item reflects the lack of information relating to the potential revenue making capability of the vessel and the associated costs of owning and operating it. Vessel economics has, therefore, been introduced at Ulstein as an essential tool for supporting the conceptual design process and reduce uncertainty relating to the economic performance of the vessel. The most important result from this study is the categorization of uncertainty in ship design and the quantification of the relationship between the perception of uncertainty from the perspective of the ship owner and the effectiveness of the conceptual ship design process. Furthermore, we exemplify the applicability of uncertainty handling methodologies to reduce the uncertainty or to mitigate the negative effects of uncertainty in five user-cases. This research provides a list of uncertainty factors (as perceived by ship owners) that ship designers should be aware of (and do something about) in their daily activities to improve the effectiveness of the ship design process.
Has partsPaper 1: Pettersen, Sigurd Solheim; Rehn, Carl Fredrik; Garcia Agis, Jose Jorge; Erikstad, Stein Ove; Brett, Per Olaf; Asbjørnslett, Bjørn Egil; Ross, Adam M.; Rhodes, Donna. Ill-Structured Commercial Ship Design Problems: The Responsive System Comparison Method on an Offshore Vessel Case. Journal of Ship Production and Design 2018 ;Volum 34.(1) s. 72-83
Paper 2: Garcia Agis, Jose Jorge; Pettersen, Sigurd Solheim; Rehn, Carl Fredrik; Erikstad, Stein Ove; Brett, Per Olaf; Asbjørnslett, Bjørn Egil. Overspecified vessel design solutions in multi-stakeholder design problems. Research in Engineering Design 2019 ;Volum 30.(4) s. 473-487 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00163-019-00319-3
Paper 3: Jose J. Garcia, Stein Ove Erikstad, Per Olaf Brett, The Value of Information in Conceptual Ship Design - This article is awaiting publication and is not included in NTNU Open
Paper 3: Jose J. Garcia, Per Olaf Brett, Stein Ove Erikstad, How Uncertainty Influences Decisionmaking Effectiveness in Conceptual Ship Design - This article is awaiting publication and is not included in NTNU Open