Title: Comparing multicriteria methods in the context of environmental problems

Authors: Pekka Salminen, Joonas Hokkanen and Risto Lahdelma

Status: European Journal of Operational Research, 104, 1998, pp. 485-496.


Keywords: Multicriteria analysis; SMART; PROMETHEE; ELECTRE III

 The present paper gives an analysis of the use of ELECTRE III, PROMETHEE I, II, and SMART decision-aids in the context of four different real applications to environmental problems in Finland. These methods are widely used decision-aids in the real planning processes. The purpose of this study is to define the differences of these methods and the results obtained with them, and in this way also to consider their applicability in aiding environmental decision-making. Furthermore, a comparison of the methods based on a set of randomly generated problems is carried out. The choice in practice will not be easy; PROMETHEE does not differ much from SMART with linear value functions, and in many cases this holds for ELECTRE III, too. However, in a particular problem the `best alternatives' obtained with these methods may differ greatly. Therefore, the conclusion is that it is better to use several methods for the same problem when possible; when not, we recommend the use of ELECTRE III.