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This paper presents a new technique for decomposing and rationalizing large decisionmaking problems into a common and consistent framework. We call this the hierarchical decomposition heuristic (HDH) which focuses on obtaining "globally feasible" solutions to the overall problem, i.e., solutions which are feasible for all decisionmaking elements in a system. The HDH is primarily intended to be applied as a standalone tool for managing a decentralized and distributed system when only globally consistent solutions are necessary or as a lower bound to a maximization problem within a global optimization strategy such as Lagrangean decomposition. An industrial scale scheduling example is presented that demonstrates the abilities of the HDH as an iterative and integrated methodology in addition to three small motivating examples. Also illustrated is the HDH's ability to support several types of coordinated and collaborative interactions.
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