Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Decision support systems (DSS) and visual interactive (VI) modelling emerged during the 1970s at roughly the same time (Sprague and Watson, 1989), (Belton, 1991). Both ideas seem to have been driven more by advances in computer technology and increasing management demands than any theory. There are both similarities and differences between them. DSS often use some visual and interactive features (see Turban and Carlson, 1989), but seldom refer to them in terms of a VI model. On the other hand, a VI model is almost always built to support decision-making, and is often referred to as a DSS. Both have developed their own methodology from different perspectives. Their integration should be complementary and should result in models that may answer many questions commonly encountered by both VI and DSS disciplines.;This thesis presents a visual interactive linear programming (LP) model for managerial decision support. The model is unique in its use, information display and user-model interface.;The thesis also empirically investigates the value of the LP-based VI-DSS through comparison with a more traditional LP-based DSS.;The empirical study was conducted at the Western Business School. Data was collected over a period of about seven weeks, during which 80 MBA students voluntarily participated. The analysis of the data provided support that VI-DSS are, on average, more effective DSS for making managerial decisions. The result of the experiment also supported a proposition that VI-DSS aid learning more effectively than non VI-DSS.;This study made research contributions to the area of LP, DSS, and VIM. The study demonstrated that VIM is a better modelling methodology to exploit the existing computer technology and to build improved DSS. The study also demonstrated that visual displays help LP to be used to its full potential and help to make effective managerial decisions.



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