Hierarchical Graph Models for Conflict Resolution
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The hierarchical graph model is developed for representing strategic conflicts having a hierarchical structure. More specifically, in a hierarchical graph model, one or more decision makers (DMs) at a higher level are involved in lower level or local disputes, such as when a central government is participating in separate disputes with different provincial governments. These newly defined hierarchical models constitute significant expansions of the Graph Model for Conflict Resolution (GMCR) methodology. Moreover, relationships are developed between preference and stability in local conflicts and those in the higher level conflict. To test and refine the various hierarchical definitions, the new approach is applied to three real world conflicts: controversies over water diversions in China, sales competition of aircraft between Airbus and Boeing, and the dispute between the USA and China over greenhouse gas emissions. DMs are provided with possible resolutions and guidance for courses of actions to follow, which can be beneficial in a hierarchical conflict. GMCR is a conflict analysis methodology that possesses a flexible structure which allows it to be applied to a wide range of real world disputes. Hierarchy in a graph model is defined in this thesis for describing the structure of a complex conflict that includes smaller interrelated conflicts. In a hierarchical graph model, DMs are classified as common decision makers (CDMs) and local decision makers (LDMs). They can initiate different types of moves, and have interrelated preferences. Among the different hierarchical graph models, the basic hierarchical graph model has the simplest structure, containing three DMs: a CDM appearing in both of the two smaller conflicts, plus one LDM in each of the two smaller conflicts. A duo hierarchical graph model has two CDMs and two local conflicts. Each LDM, together with both CDMs, appears in one local conflict. A general hierarchical model may include any number of smaller or local conflicts, and any number of CDMs and LDMs. Stability results in a graph model reflect different solution concepts or stability definitions. Because of the connections between local conflicts, stability in the hierarchical model can be partially obtained from the stability calculations in local models. One component of this thesis is the investigation of the stability interrelationships between stabilities in a hierarchical graph and those in the local conflicts. Hierarchical graph models can be applied to various practical conflicts. Water diversion conflicts in China, caused by the implementation of the South-North Water Diversion Project, are an excellent example. The duo hierarchical graph model can model a competition between Airbus and Boeing, regarding the marketing of wide-body and narrow-body aircraft in the Asia Pacific region. Conflicts between China and the USA over compliance with a bilateral greenhouse gas emissions agreement are modelled by a hierarchal graph model with a more complicated structure. The disputes take place between the two national governments, both of which also face domestic opposition and concerns.