Graph Theory Applied to Evaluation of Water Sciences Research Systems

Denis Couillard

DOI: 10.2190/7LQY-HT2X-VMF3-C3C2


Many procedures have been proposed over the past years for evaluating the degree to which the objectives pursued by research are realized. However, none of these has succeeded in entirely encompassing the problem. Thus, a new approach that is likely to improve on already existing procedures has been sought. After presenting a typology of the diverse methods used in the evaluation process, this article describes a technique which permits one to systematically determine the relationships in a system of research execution and to rapidly identify the principal components. The use of coherence graphs has facilitated the achievement of these objectives. As a case study, the method has been applied to qualitatively describe a system of university research in the water sciences. In the preliminary step, the objectives pursued by university research and the disciplines necessary for realizing projects have been itemized. The second stage involves the construction of a coherence graph by establishing relationships between the elements. A schematic representation of the relationships making up the research system is thus obtained. The graph consists of five levels: objectives, sources of financing, places where research is conducted, programs, and project disciplines. This graphic representation allows one to identify among the multiple requests for funds those that have the greatest potential to provide the desired results in accordance with the objectives retained.

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