Impact assessment of large-scale projects involves a plethora of technical, economic, social, and environmental factors that must be assessed along with the expectations of the stakeholders of each project. While impact assessment is required for a development project to receive regulatory approval to proceed, it is also an invaluable tool during the design phase of complex projects, providing for informed decision-making. Molding multiple perspectives of diverse stakeholders into a single collective choice is a key challenge in the process. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) is the methodology used to rank a finite number of decision options based on a finite set of evaluation criteria. Different MCDA techniques, however, may lead to different decisions when applied to the same problem while different sets of criteria and weights may rank choices differently even when the same method is applied. This is a cause of concern, and even acrimony, amongst the stakeholders, often leading to protracted periods of negotiation and delaying project launching. The objective of this paper is to present an intelligent system to ameliorate the effects of the inherent subjectivity in MCDA techniques and to develop a consensus amongst the stakeholders in a data-driven setting. A case study from the field of offshore construction is used as a running example. This case study, informed by real-world experience in the field, demonstrates succinctly the issues involved and illustrates clearly the proposed intelligent methodology and its merits.
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