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A semi-automated approach for structuring multi criteria decision problems


  • Maier, Konradin
  • Stix, Volker


This article seeks to enhance multi criteria decision making by providing a scientific approach for decomposing and structuring decision problems. We propose a process, based on concept mapping, which integrates group creativity techniques, card sorting procedures, quantitative data analysis and algorithmic automatization to construct meaningful and complete hierarchies of criteria. The algorithmic aspect is covered by a newly proposed recursive cluster algorithm, which automatically generates hierarchies from card sorting data. Based on comparison with another basic algorithm and empirical engineered and real-case test data, we validate that our process efficiently produces reasonable hierarchies of descriptive elements like goal- or problem-criteria.

Suggested Citation

  • Maier, Konradin & Stix, Volker, 2013. "A semi-automated approach for structuring multi criteria decision problems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 225(3), pages 487-496.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:225:y:2013:i:3:p:487-496
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2012.10.018

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Keeney,Ralph L. & Raiffa,Howard, 1993. "Decisions with Multiple Objectives," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438834, April.
    2. von Winterfeldt, Detlof & Fasolo, Barbara, 2009. "Structuring decision problems: A case study and reflections for practitioners," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 199(3), pages 857-866, December.
    3. Saaty, Thomas L. & Shih, Hsu-Shih, 2009. "Structures in decision making: On the subjective geometry of hierarchies and networks," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 199(3), pages 867-872, December.
    4. Dodgson, JS & Spackman, M & Pearman, A & Phillips, LD, 2009. "Multi-criteria analysis: a manual," Economic History Working Papers 12761, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    5. Mackenzie, Adrian & Pidd, Michael & Rooksby, John & Sommerville, Ian & Warren, Ian & Westcombe, Mark, 2006. "Wisdom, decision support and paradigms of decision making," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 170(1), pages 156-171, April.
    6. Feng, Cheng-Min & Wu, Pei-Ju & Chia, Kai-Chieh, 2010. "A hybrid fuzzy integral decision-making model for locating manufacturing centers in China: A case study," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 200(1), pages 63-73, January.
    7. Saaty, Thomas L., 1990. "How to make a decision: The analytic hierarchy process," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 9-26, September.
    8. Trochim, William M. K., 1989. "Concept mapping : Soft science or hard art?," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 87-110, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Cerretta & Lidia Diappi, 2014. "Adaptive Evaluations in Complex Contexts: Introduction," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1 Suppl.), pages 5-22.


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