Monday, March 12, 2012

Selecting the Right MCDA Methodology

Introduction:In this article, authors Guitouni and Martel examined several of the numerous multi-criteria decision-making tools and methods to help determine tentative guidelines for selecting the optimal method for an individual situation.

Study Summary:
The authors summarized 29 different MCDM-related methodologies for consideration, such as the Weighted-Sum, where an alternative's performance is calculated as a weighted sum of its criteria evaluations, and the Maximin method, where the performance of an alternative is determined by its weakest evaluation. These methods are categorized by how they sort through criteria, as one factor in the study. The authors also recognize that the decision-maker factor in selecting an appropriate methodology is difficult or impossible to "plan ahead" for, due to the individual nature of each DM. Ultimately, the authors seek to aim their study through the steps in the following diagram.

  Conclusion Summary:At the end of the article, the authors suggested the following tentative guidelines for selecting an MCDA suitable for the situation at hand (slightly paraphrased):
1. Determine the stakeholders of the decision process. If there are many decision makers, one should think about group decision making methods/support systems.
2. Consider the DM's way of thinking/preferences. If he is more comfortable with one form of comparison, use of that form is recommended.
3. Determine the decision problematic pursued by the DM. If the DM wants an alternatives ranking, then a ranking method is appropriate, and so on.
4. Choose the process that can properly handle the input information available and for which the DM can easily provide the required information.
5. The compensation degree of the MCAP method is important to consider.
6. The fundamental hypotheses of the method are to be met/verified, otherwise one should choose another method.
7. The decision support system coming with the method is an important aspect to be considered.

The authors recognize that these guidelines are incomplete and do not allow for a decisive selection of method in many circumstances - they recommend additional study on the subject, especially an in-depth comparative study of different MCDA methods to identify the appropriate circumstances for the application of each.

Adel Guitouni, Jean-Marc Martel, Tentative guidelines to help choosing an appropriate MCDA method, European Journal of Operational Research, Volume 109, Issue 2, 1 September 1998, Pages 501-521, ISSN 0377-2217, 10.1016/S0377-2217(98)00073-3.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that the author's consider the decision makers way of thinking/preference to influence which method of MCDM to consider using, not just the problem or situation itself.