Multi-criteria decision analysis: Limitations, pitfalls, and practical difficulties

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The 2002 Winter Olympics women's figure skating competition is used as a case study to illustrate some of the limitations, pitfalls, and practical difficulties of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). The paper compares several widely used models for synthesizing the multiple attributes into a single aggregate value. The various MCDA models can provide conflicting rankings of the alternatives for a common set of information even under states of certainty. Analysts involved in MCDA need to deal with the following challenging tasks: (1) selecting an appropriate analysis method, and (2) properly interpreting the results. An additional trap is the availability of software ... continued below

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8 pages

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Kujawski, Edouard February 1, 2003.

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The 2002 Winter Olympics women's figure skating competition is used as a case study to illustrate some of the limitations, pitfalls, and practical difficulties of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). The paper compares several widely used models for synthesizing the multiple attributes into a single aggregate value. The various MCDA models can provide conflicting rankings of the alternatives for a common set of information even under states of certainty. Analysts involved in MCDA need to deal with the following challenging tasks: (1) selecting an appropriate analysis method, and (2) properly interpreting the results. An additional trap is the availability of software tools that implement specific MCDA models that can beguile the user with quantitative scores. These conclusions are independent of the decision domain and they should help foster better MCDA practices in many fields including systems engineering trade studies.

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8 pages

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OSTI as DE00813572

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  • 13th Annual International Symposium INCOSE 2003, Washington, DC (US), 07/01/2003--07/03/2003

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  • Report No.: LBNL--52362
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 813572
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc736093

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • February 1, 2003

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  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • April 4, 2016, 4:22 p.m.

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Kujawski, Edouard. Multi-criteria decision analysis: Limitations, pitfalls, and practical difficulties, article, February 1, 2003; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc736093/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.