Multi-Criterion Decision Analysis

Multi-Criterion Decision Analysis, also called multi-attribute or multi-objective decision analysis, is useful where trade-offs need to be made between conflicting goals or objectives.

There are several approaches to supporting decisions involving multiple objectives in situations where there is no risk or uncertainty. These can be divided into four classes by the method of analysis used.

  • Simple Multi-Attribute Rating Technique (SMART), as illustrated by Hiview, VISA, MAUD, OnBalance. This uses a value tree and explicit scoring of the options. The attractiveness of the options is directly rated.
  • Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), as in Hipre-3 and Expert Choice. This method is based on pair-wise comparisons of the options and the criteria. The rankings are calculated from the matrix of judgements. The relative attractiveness of the options is rated.
  • MACBETH (Measuring Attractiveness by a Categorical Based Evaluation Technique) This also uses pair-wise comparisons, but in this case the difference in attractiveness between two options is assigned to a category.
  • Outranking methods illustrated by Promethee. This is a distinctively different method, quite unlike the other three. It consists of out-ranking techniques allowing incomparabilities between options. This can avoid the recommendation of solutions that are particularly weak on one criterion.
The walk-through tutorial illustrates the use of SMART