Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2019


Ramin Neshati

Course Title

Decision Making

Course Number

ETM 530/630


Home automation -- Decision making, Internet of things, Hierarchical decision model


Smart Homes are one market segment in today’s Internet-of-Things (IoT) culture, but the myriad of choices can be daunting for the individual consumer who is looking to invest in a smart home ecosystem. The paper will study the three main Do-It-Yourself (DIY) competitive ecosystems Google Home, Apple HomePod, and Amazon Echo to determine the best option for the consumer.

A hierarchical decision model (HDM) is the chosen at the preferred decision model tool because it returns not just a ranking of the final choices but also provides a ranking of higher level perspectives such as financial, technology, and social. The model is structured in 3-levels with perspectives, criteria, and options. A panel of subject matter experts were chosen to represent a cross-selection of the consumer base for smart home automation ecosystems. These experts were asked to make pairwise comparisons at the 3 levels in the model based on their experience, knowledge, and interests in the technology. Results of the model showed an even split between Google Home and Amazon Echo, the top two leaders in this ecosystem market, with technology concerns winning out over financial or social criteria.

The technology changes quickly, almost on a quarterly basis, as new devices from these companies are introduced and thereby leaving the author questioning how quickly this research will become outdated. Additionally, the input from the expert panel left a few criteria evenly weighted, which begs the question of whether the expert panel reached pairwise comparison fatigue and if a simpler model such as weighted sum model or weighted product model would provide improved results.


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