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Required Resources

Excel Spreadsheet and Crystal Ball software. Expert Choice, or Matlab toolbox, or JAVA (JADE).

These will either be freely downloadable or available for use in University computer labs.  Further details to be advised.

Unit Schedule

Week Date* Activities Assessment
0 21/02/11   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 28/02/11 Fundamentals to decision making in finance  
2 07/03/11 Finance knowledge creation process for Decision Support Systems in Finance  
3 14/03/11 Analysis of financial statement using ratios  
4 21/03/11 Risk-return and investment portfolio issues - I  
5 28/03/11 Risk-return and investment portfolio issues - II  
6 04/04/11 Multicriteria decision support framework (AHP) Assignment 1 due Friday 8 April 2011, 4pm
7 11/04/11 Application of AHP to finance decision support (work example)  
8 18/04/11 Using AHP for investment portfolio decision - I  
Mid semester break
9 02/05/11 Using AHP / ANP for investment portfolio decision - II  
10 09/05/11 Operational finance (risk management) DSS fundamental  
11 16/05/11 Intelligent decision support systems for finance fundamental  
12 23/05/11 Intelligent decision support systems for finance (currency risk) Assignment 2 due by Monday 23 May 2011, 4pm
  30/05/11 SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC

*Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

Assessment Policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Finance knowledge fundamental and analysis for DSS
    A set of computational and discussion questions based on topics 1 to 5.
    Criteria for assessment:

    This individual assignment will be based on computational questions using financial ratios and associated company specific factors.
    Criteria to be used are:

    1. Correctness and understanding - there may be more than one "right" answer in many cases. We will look for answers that reflect understanding of the underlying principles and theories.
    2. Completeness - that you have answered all parts of each question.
    3. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted report style.
    4. Use of evidence and argument - you are able to explain your position by using logical argument drawing on the theory presented in the unit.
    Due date:
    Friday 8 April 2011, 4pm
  • Assessment task 2
    Analytic Hierarchical / Analytic Network Process
    A specific case on decision support systems for financial investment and risk management decision setup, using behavioural psychology and economic fundamentals criteria, and implemented on AHP / ANP with the help of Expert Choice software tool.

    Students are to work in groups of 2 to 4. A final group report of a minimum of 3000 words (excluding graphs and tables) is to be submitted by the set deadline. Each student must contribute at least 1000 words in the report write-up.
    Criteria for assessment:

    1) Investment portfolio formulation methods. (30 / 100)

    2) Solution to investment portfolio to obtain optimum asset class allocation. (30 / 100)

    3) Discussion with interpretation of results and their implications. (30 / 100)

    4) Conclusion and recommendation of issues for further investigations. (10 / 100)

    The report will be graded according to the following criteria:

    1. All programs codes used to implement AHP must compile and run correctly to meet the problem specification.
    2. Correctness in the interpretation of results must be reported concisely.
    3. Recommendations made for investment decision taking must be theoretically justified and intuitively correct.
    Due date:
    Monday 23 May 2011, 4pm
  • Assessment task 3
    Tutorial / laboratory attendance and participation
    In order to meet unit group assessment objectives students are to attend all tutorial / practical classes where they will engage in active group participation. The tutor in charge will take attendance and monitor participation of activities.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Attendance and participation of activities.

    Due date:
    At the end of each tutorial / lab class


  • Examination 1
    60 %
    2 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    Students may use a financial calculator or programmable scientific calculator.
    Multiple choice questions; and short / long answer discussion type questions.

    All formulae except definition of terms and ratios will be given.

Assignment submission

Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/
You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Resubmission of assignments

Resubmission or an extension of the submission dateline (up to 5 working days) may be granted if a medical certificate is produced.

Referencing requirements

Basic reading / reference materials for Assignment 2 will be issued. Students aiming for a HD grade are expected to explore / discuss and add innovations to methodology used in the assignment.


Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University's academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash's Education Policies at:

Key educational policies include:

Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis

Reading List

Charnes, J (2007), Financial Modelling with Crystal Ball and Excel + companion web site, ISBN 13: 978-0-471-77972-8, John Wiley

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