# Multiple-criteria decision analysis

Multi Criteria Analysis or Multi Criteria Decision Analysis is a field of decision theory. It is about taking a decision when there are several criteria to take into account. It is often classified as a part of operations research. Conflicting criteria are typical for many situations.

In their daily lives, people usually weigh multiple criteria implicitly and may be comfortable with the consequences of such decisions that are made based on only intuition.[1] On the other hand, when stakes are high, it is important to properly structure the problem and explicitly evaluate multiple criteria.[2] Suppose a decision must be taken about a nuclear power plant: should it be built, and if so, where? These issues are very complex and deciding needs to take multiple criteria into account. Many people will be affected by the decision and it's consequences.

Structuring complex problems well and considering multiple criteria explicitly leads to more informed and better decisions. There have been important advances in this field since the start of the modern multiple-criteria decision-making discipline in the early 1960s. A variety of approaches and methods, many implemented by specialized decision-making software,[3][4] have been developed for their application in an array of disciplines, ranging from politics and business to the environment and energy.[5]

Two of the earliest ones were ÉLECTRE, and PROMETHEE. ELECTRE works by assigning a weight to eacch criterion, for each option. It then vboils down to calculating a weighted sum. Promethee was developed in the 1980s, and offers more choices.

## References

1. Rew, L. (1988). "Intuition in Decision-making". Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 20 (3): 150–154. doi:10.1111/j.1547-5069.1988.tb00056.x. PMID 3169833.
2. Franco, L.A.; Montibeller, G. (2010). "Problem structuring for multicriteria decision analysis interventions". Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. doi:10.1002/9780470400531.eorms0683. ISBN 9780470400531.
3. Weistroffer, HR, and Li, Y (2016). "Multiple criteria decision analysis software". Ch 29 in: Greco, S, Ehrgott, M and Figueira, J, eds, Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis: State of the Art Surveys Series, Springer: New York.
4. Amoyal, Justin (2018). "Decision analysis : Biennial survey demonstrates continuous advancement of vital tools for decision-makers, managers and analysts". OR/MS Today. doi:10.1287/orms.2018.05.13. S2CID 642562.
5. Kylili, Angeliki; Christoforou, Elias; Fokaides, Paris A.; Polycarpou, Polycarpos (2016). "Multicriteria analysis for the selection of the most appropriate energy crops: The case of Cyprus". International Journal of Sustainable Energy. 35 (1): 47–58. Bibcode:2016IJSE...35...47K. doi:10.1080/14786451.2014.898640. S2CID 108512639.