To identify the factors that would affect the adoption of SDN-microSENSE outcomes a survey using the Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method has been conducted. The survey revealed experts’ vision regarding critical factors and their significance anticipated to influence the introduction and acceptance of SDN-microSENSE as a technology solution.
Initially, the most important factors that are related to the adoption of SDN-microSENSE were identified after discussions with partners taking into account a wide range of factors. The final list that was compiled contains the following set of criteria:
- Performance: aspects such as availability, usability and scalability
- Technology / Features: aspects such as islanding, reconfiguration, energy balance management, trading system
- Security: aspects related to compliance, privacy and accountability
- Business aspects: aspects related to cost, licensing, transition and continuity
In order to perform the required pairwise comparisons a web-base survey was created. All elements required by the fuzzy AHP were taken into account in order to implement the survey and as a result experts were asked to provide their input regarding the (sub)criterion of their preference and the upper and lower limits of the importance. The web-platform was implemented using LimeSurvey (https://www.limesurvey.org/), an open source tool for web surveys that was deployed in the projects website.
According to experts’ preferences the most important criterion is the Technology / Features with a weight equal to 0.33 (33%), followed by Security with a weight of 0.29 (29%). Performance ranks third with weight equal to 0.20 (20%) while the criterion with the lowest weight is Business with 0.18 (18%).
Technology and features of the developed solution is the most important factor among experts, they value the different features that the final product will have as the most critical ones. Security that is one of the main aspects of the SDN-microSENSE solution is ranked second, these features are important but not as the technology. Combined these two criteria have a weight of 0.62 that highlights that these two factors are clearly the most important ones.
Performance follows at the third place followed by business in the last place, it seems that at this early stage of the project with most of the components still in early development phase experts are more focused on criteria associated with the development. Business factor is more related to a product that is already close to commercialization.
A different way of interpretation of the results is that the decision making does not always imply a discrete choice between the alternatives, but could also refer to probabilities, possibilities or considerations concerning opportunities vs. risks. The usage of fuzzy numbers could then be taken to guarantee the minimum and maximum values. An α-cut can also be taken into account in order to define narrower lower and upper limits of the relevant weightings based on risk considerations.
In order to better understand that effect, the fuzzu weights are illustrated in next figure. Technology is the most important factor among the criteria although it has high uncertainty, there is a significant overlap with security that also has high uncertainty. The other two criteria present lower uncertainties but are clearly the ones ranked at the last places