• Distributed Decision Making;
  • Dynamic Modeling;
  • Information Technology (IT) based Decision Support Systems;
  • Machine Learning Algorithms;
  • Multi-Organizational Collaborative Decision Making;
  • Real-Time Decision Tools;
  • Support Vector Machines (SVM)


Multi-organizational collaborative decision making in high-magnitude crisis situations requires real-time information sharing and dynamic modeling for effective response. Information technology (IT) based decision support tools can play a key role in facilitating such effective response. We explore one promising class of decision support tools based on machine learning, known as support vector machines (SVM), which have the capability to dynamically model and analyze decision processes. To examine this capability, we use a case study with a design science approach to evaluate improved decision-making effectiveness of an SVM algorithm in an agent-based simulation experimental environment. Testing and evaluation of real-time decision support tools in simulated environments provides an opportunity to assess their value under various dynamic conditions. Decision making in high-magnitude crisis situations involves multiple different patterns of behavior, requiring the development, application, and evaluation of different models. Therefore, we employ a multistage linear support vector machine (MLSVM) algorithm that permits partitioning decision maker response into behavioral subsets, which can then individually model and examine their diverse patterns of response behavior. The results of our case study indicate that our MLSVM is clearly superior to both single stage SVMs and traditional approaches such as linear and quadratic discriminant analysis for understanding and predicting behavior. We conclude that machine learning algorithms show promise for quickly assessing response strategy behavior and for providing the capability to share information with decision makers in multi-organizational collaborative environments, thus supporting more effective decision making in such contexts.