A problem-based selection of multi-attribute decision-making methods

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    Different multi-attribute decision-making (MADM) methods often produce different outcomes for selecting or ranking a set of decision alternatives involving multiple attributes. This paper presents a new approach to the selection of compensatory MADM methods for a specific cardinal ranking problem via sensitivity analysis of attribute weights. In line with the context-dependent concept of informational importance, the approach examines the consistency degree between the relative degree of sensitivity of individual attributes using an MADM method and the relative degree of influence of the corresponding attributes indicated by Shannon’s entropy concept. The approach favors the method that has the highest consistency degree as it best reflects the decision information embedded in the problem data set. An empirical study of a scholarship student selection problem is used to illustrate how the approach can validate the ranking outcome produced by different MADM methods. The empirical study shows that different problem data sets may result in a different method being selected. This approach is particularly applicable to large-scale cardinal ranking problems where the ranking outcome of different methods differs significantly. International Federation of Operational Research Societies 2002.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-181
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Transactions in Operational Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


    • Attribute weights
    • Cardinal ranking
    • Entropy
    • Multi-attribute decision-making
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Validation

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