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Ranking irregularities when evaluating alternatives by using some ELECTRE methods


  • Wang, Xiaoting
  • Triantaphyllou, Evangelos


The ELECTRE II and III methods enjoy a wide acceptance in solving multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) problems. Research results in this paper reveal that there are some compelling reasons to doubt the correctness of the proposed rankings when the ELECTRE II and III methods are used. In a typical test we first used these methods to determine the best alternative for a given MCDM problem. Next, we randomly replaced a non-optimal alternative by a worse one and repeated the calculations without changing any of the other data. Our computational tests revealed that sometimes the ELECTRE II and III methods might change the indication of the best alternative. We treat such phenomena as rank reversals. Although such ranking irregularities are well known for the additive variants of the AHP method, it is the very first time that they are reported to occur when the ELECTRE methods are used. These two methods are also evaluated in terms of two other ranking tests and they failed them as well. Two real-life cases are described to demonstrate the occurrence of rank reversals with the ELECTRE II and III methods. Based on the three test criteria presented in this paper, some computational experiments on randomly generated decision problems were executed to test the performance of the ELECTRE II and III methods and an examination of some real-life case studies are also discussed. The results of these examinations show that the rates of the three types of ranking irregularities were rather significant in both the simulated decision problems and the real-life cases studied in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Xiaoting & Triantaphyllou, Evangelos, 2008. "Ranking irregularities when evaluating alternatives by using some ELECTRE methods," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 45-63, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:45-63

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Govindan, Kannan & Jepsen, Martin Brandt, 2016. "ELECTRE: A comprehensive literature review on methodologies and applications," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 250(1), pages 1-29.
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    8. Caetani, Alberto Pavlick & Ferreira, Luciano & Borenstein, Denis, 2016. "Development of an integrated decision-making method for an oil refinery restructuring in Brazil," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 197-210.
    9. Figueira, José Rui & Roy, Bernard, 2009. "A note on the paper, "Ranking irregularities when evaluating alternatives by using some ELECTRE methods", by Wang and Triantaphyllou, Omega (2008)," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 731-733, June.
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    16. Schneider, Frank, 2008. "Multiple criteria decision making in application layer networks," Bayreuth Reports on Information Systems Management 36, University of Bayreuth, Chair of Information Systems Management.
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