decisional processes

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decisional processes

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interpreted as being pairwise comparisons among criterions or alternatives.

Initially these comparisons are done in verbal terms, and then these verbal

terms are put in correspondence with numerical values through a so called

scale function. The number of verbal comparisons is set at the beginning by

the researcher who controls the experiment. Secondly, the researcher has

also to justify the choice of a certain scale function against other options.

Suppose that in general n-criterions C1,..Cn have to be compared by a certain

decision maker, two by two. The result of this comparison is a numerical

(n,n) matrix with positive elements, referred as a decision matrix and

denoted with DM:

a numerical scale, this will be registered in the decision matrix as being the

element aij and it will be placed on the line i and column j.

If criterion Ci is preferred to the criterion Cj it means that the numerical

value associated to the intensity of this preference, referred as a ij has to be

greater than the numerical value associated to the intensity of preference of

Cj over Ci, referred as aji. The exact relation among these intensities of

preferences is assumed to be reciprocal, or in other words the reciprocity

condition is assumed to hold true

(6.1-1)

Also, it is assumed that one is indifferent in choosing among C i and Ci and

therefore the associated intensity will be one. This reflexivity condition

translates into

(6.1-2)

Therefore, a decision matrix is a square matrix with positive elements

satisfying conditions (6.1-1) and (6.1-2).

If criterion C i is preferred to criterion Cj with intensity aij and if

criterion Cj is preferred to criterion Ck with intensity ajk then consistency

assumes transitivity of preferences and proportionality of the corresponding

intensities. So, the consistency condition is

(6.1-3)

One can keep in mind that while the term decision matrix translates into a

square, positive matrix checking reciprocity and reflexivity conditions

(4.4.1-1) and (4.4.1-2), the consistency condition may or may not be

fulfilled.

Some remarks can prove useful in becoming confortable with the previous

definition.

Remark 1. A positive (2,2) matrix

which is automatically a consistent one.

is a decision matrix

is a decision

A priority vector

associated

highest (real number) eigenvalue, noted with

) solutions to the so-called characteristic equation

(6.2.-1)

The characteristic equation (6.2-1) is a n-degree equation in

and

therefore it has at most n real solutions. The highest solution is referred with

If

associated with

(6.2.-2)

DM is a (n,n) consistent decision matrix if and only if

=n.

Also, if

(6.2.-3)

is the eigenvector corresponding to the highest eigenvalue

(which in this case in n, the dimension of the matrix) (referred as the priority

vector), then

(6.2.-4)

This is actually the mathematical property, generally true in the theory of positive

matrices on which the concept of priority vector is based. Every element in the

decision matrix is assumed to correspond to a certain comparison among two

criterions. The fact that every this element is the ratio of the correspondent

numerical values (expressing importance, priority) in the eigenvector associated

with the highest eigenvalue makes this eigenvector to be declared as a winner or,

in other words, THE priority vector.

Further on, lets follow how these general definitions look like on matrices of 2 and

3 dimensions.

Consider

matrix, the correspondent eigenvalues and in the end see how the hypothesis of

reflexivity and reciprocity contribute to this calculus.

By

(4.4.2-1), eigenvalues

which is equivalent to

(6.2.-5)

Expanding the determinant it comes that

(6.2.-6)

so that

is

with

(6.2.-7)

with

and

provided

(6.2.-8)

The two solutions of the (6..2-6) equation can be real numbers or complex

numbers, but lets add now the two hypothesis of reflexivity,

and

(6.2-9)

and reciprocity

(6.2-10)

Replacing (6.2-9) and (6.2-10) into (6.2.-6) one finds that

equation

(6.2-11)

It is clear now that the two eigenvalues for a (2,2) decision matrix are 0 and 2 with

=2. It is also clear that a (2,2) decision matrix is consistent, therefore one can

see how (6.2.-3) is checked.

In order to find the eigenvector corresponding to

with

so that

(by (6.2-2)).

and

(6.2-12)

Hamalainen(1997)).

Suppose that one, having to compare two criterions, C 1 and C2 initially picked b=3

and then changed to b=4. This corresponds to a change in the correspondent

priority vector from

to

or

Suppose next, that other one, having to compare the same two criterions, C 1 and C2

initially picked b=8 and then changed to b=9. This corresponds to a change in the

correspondent

priority

vector

from

to

or

from 1 to 9 and their reciprocals, to a change of one unit on the scale function

correspond irregular changes in the corresponding priority vectors.

This kind of observation gave rise to a new type of scale functions, so called

balanced scales, where for constant increases in the priority vector (

calculated the correspondent numerical scale (

) is

vector of priorities.

Table 6.

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1/9

2/8

3/7

4/6

6/4

7/3

Another thing one may want to observe in relation to Saatys integer scale is

the distribution of the correspondent priority vectors.

This distribution can be visualized by plotting in a

system of

integer scale {1/9,.1,..9}.Thus, priority vectors appear to be concentrated

at extremes indicating the fact that ones conclusions about the priorities are

too often either underestimated or overestimated.

In the end of this discussion regarding a (2,2) decision matrix one perhaps

would want to notice the particular convenient form of the priority vector

which allowed for all this considerations. When one upgrades to a (3,3)

decision matrix or it is considering instead a hierarchy, all the previous

scheme of reasoning becomes inapplicable.

which is

(6.2-13)

Assuming A is a decision matrix (positive, reflexivity and reciprocity) means

and

(6.2-14)

Replacing (6.2.-14) into (6.2.-13) provides the equation whose solutions are the

corresponding eigenvalues:

(6.2-15)

If the following notation is considered

then

(the

consistency condition for the decision matrix A).It can be easily proved that

the third degree equation in

than zero

Assuming A is a consistent decision matrix,

),

is described by

(6.2-16)

It is easy now to check (4.4.2-4) namely

(6.2-17)

The sum of the elements in the first column of the consistent decision matrix A is

(6.2-18)

Similarly,

(6.2-19)

and

(6.2-20)

The normalized matrix A is the matrix A in each every element is divided by the

correspondent sum on the column,

(6.2.-21)

which correspond to

(6.2.-22)

If the matrix a is a decision matrix which is not consistent then the priority vector

can be obtained through a iterative procedure as described below. The initial

decision matrix A is normalized by dividing each element by the corresponding

sum on the column, thus being obtained Anormalized . Then the matrix B= (Anormalized)2 is

computed. If all columns are identical, then the identical column represents the

corresponding priority vector. If the columns are not identical, then the matrix B is

normalized, then C= (Bnormalized)2 is computed and columns compared, till after a

large enough number of steps, all the columns are identical. The identical columns

provide the correspondent priority vector.

6.3. The consistency index and the random index

The consistency index (CI) measures the departure of a decision matrix DM from

the consistency condition. It is recalled the following important theoretical result in

the theory of positive, reciprocal matrices:

DM is a (n,n) consistent decision matrix if and only if

If DM is a (n,n) decision matrix then

=n.

(6.2.-3)

(6.3-1)

And the closer to zero it is, the higher the consistency of the judgments.

The random index (RI) is a measure of the range of the consistency index for

matrices of the same dimensions. The upper diagonal of a matrix is filled with

randomly extracted elements from the Saatys scale function {1/9,..1,9}, the

elements below the main diagonal are completed by taking the reciprocals, on the

main diagonal are ones and the correspondent CI is calculated, for 50,000 trials.

The correspondent average is the random index RI.

The consistency ratio (CR) is the ratio among consistency index and the random

index. Saaty recommends that the consistency ratio should always be smaller than

0.1.

6.4. Numerical scales in the literature so far

numerical scales mainly based (yet not exclusively) on the work done by Dong&all

(2008), Elliot (2010),Salo and Hamalainen (1997).

Matching a certain numerical scale to a broadly accepted linguistic scale

raises issues which are not currently sorted out. The variety of criterions taken into

consideration when a certain numerical scale is adopted can shed a light to the

implications of a certain choice over the other alternatives.

This broad range of criterions assessing the quality of a certain numerical

scale led to a more formalized way of looking at the linguistic variables, in the

attempt to impose on these a minimal set of axioms. Thus, following Dong & all

(2008), if we accept that linguistic variables are judgments vaguely

quantifications in respect to certain questions (like for instance extremely poor,

very poor , poor, slightly poor, fair, slightly good, good, very good,

extremely good), a label represent a possible way in which the linguistic

variables are ordered.

Thus, for the linguistic variable fair, one could associate the label 0.

Similarly, the linguistic variable slightly good could be associated with the label

1, the linguistic variable good could be associated with the label 2 and the

linguistic variable poor could be associated with the label -2.

Therefore, a linguistic label set with odd number of elements can be

represented as

S={ s /=-t,-t+1,-1,0,1,..t-1,t} where with the label s can further on be, later

on, in principle, attached any possible real number .

Following the previous example, the linguistic variable fair corresponds

to the linguistic label s0, the linguistic variable slightly good corresponds to the

linguistic label s1and so on, and so, instead of considering a set of linguistic

variables like

S={extremely poor.. extremely good}

we admit that there must be some order in these quantification and consider instead

a set of linguistic labels

S={ s /=-t,-t+1,-1,0,1,..t-1,t}

where t=4,

s-4=extremely poor,, s0=fair,., s4=extremely good.

In the AHP framework for instance, Saaty pre-established the next

linguistic label set:

S={s-8,s-7,s-1,s0,s1,s8} (or, shorter, S={ s /=-8,-7,-1,0,1,..7,8})

where

s-8=extremely less important, s-7=very, very strongly less important,..

s-1=weakly less important,s0=equally important,s1=weakly more important,

s7=very, very strongly more important, s8=extremely more important.

In general (see Dong &all), it is required that the labels s , as elements in

the linguistic label set S, should satisfy the following characteristics:

> if and only if (iff) s>s

(1)

there is a negation operator: neg(s)= s-

(2)

A discrete linguistic label set can be extended to a continuous linguistic label

set

S={ s / [-q,q] } where q is a large enough positive real number. Such an

extension is sometimes referred as being the virtual linguistic label. Virtual

linguistic label set may appear in extended operations, while the decision maker

faces choices among a discrete label set.

Given a certain discrete linguistic label set S={s /=-t,..0,t}, the scale

gradation of a certain element s in S is its correspondent lower index, noted with

I(s).More specific, if s= s, then I(s)= .

A scale function associates to every linguistic label a real number. Thus, if

S is a linguistic label set (discrete or continuous), a scale function is a

monotonically increasing function f:SR+ with f(s)f(s-)=1 .

As one can notice, the way in which to the linguistic labels are associated

numerical quantifications is not uniquely determined.

Consider the next example:

S={ s /=-t,-t+1,-1,0,1,..t-1,t}

where t=2,

s-2=extremely poor,s-1=poor, s0=fair,s1=good, s2=extremely good.

The next alternatives of associating numerical values to the linguistic label set

could be considered:

(a) f1: SR , f1(s-2)=-2,f1(s-1)=-1,f1(s0)=0,f1(s1)=1, f1(s2)=2

(b) f2: SR , f2(s-2)=1, f2(s-1)=2, f2(s0)=3, f2(s1)=4, f2(s2)=5

(c) f3: SR , f3(s-2)=1/3, f3(s-1)=1/2, f3(s0)=1, f3(s1)=2, f3(s2)=3

(d) f4: SR , f4(s-2)=1/ c3/2, f4(s-1)=1/c, f4(s0)=c1/2, f4(s1)= c, f4(s2)= c3/2, c>0.

Function f1 is not a scale function in the sense of the previous definition since it

does not take positive values. Function f 2 is neither a scale function since the

condition f(s)f(s-)=1 is not checked. One would perhaps recognize functions f 1

and f2 as being alternatives of the so called Likert scale, so in the developing field

of linguistic variables and linguistic preferences relations, this scale is at least

inexistent. An alternative support for the previous remark can be found in Saaty

(2010):

In a rather haphazard way people have the habit of using ordinal numbers to

create scales used to assign numbers to anything. In addition they perform

meaningless arithmetic operation on such numbers that make no sense. A

frequently used example is the psychometric scale commonly used in

questionnaires the Likert scale named after Rensis Likert (1932) []It is

disturbing to see such scales used in unjustifiable mathematical ways. It is not

clear what a person relates such judgments to because peoples likes and dislikes

are so variable even about the same thing but at different times.

Functions f 3and f4 are both of them scale functions according to the previous

definition, provided c>1. If c<1, function f 4 is no longer a scale function since it is

not a monotonically increasing function.

In the happy event that c>1, the next question arises: what are criterions for

deciding which of the possible scale functions is most appropriate?

In order to present how this problem is posed in the main stream of literature, the

concept of Linguistic Pairwise Comparison Matrix (LPCM) will be introduced.

Given a linguistic label set S, S={ s /=-t,-t+1,-1,0,1,..t-1,t}, a square matrix

D=(dij)tt is called a linguistic pairwise comparison matrix (LPCM) if dij S and

dijdji=s0.

If s 0=1, then one could recognize in the dijdji=s0 condition the reciprocity

condition applied to linguistic labels. If a scale function f: SR + is considered,

then the condition dijdji=s0 moves into f(dij)f(dji)=1 which is exactly the reciprocity

condition for the decision matrices as introduced by Saaty. On the other hand, the

consistency condition, also referred as transitivity condition (d ij djk=dik) is not

automatically fulfilled, for any scale function (for instance, the usage of scale

function f3 does not assure consistency, while the usage of scale f 4 does it).

Considering once again the AHP linguistic scale as introduced by Saaty, in

the next table will be explicitly described the most important four numerical scales.

Next, the correspondent scale functions, using the scale gradation will be formally

presented.

Linguistic

variable

Lingui

stic

label

Scale

gradation

I(s)=

Saaty

scale

Geometric

al scale,

c>0

Ma-Zheng

scale

SaloHamalaine

n scale

e=1/20 or

e=1/17

extremely

less

important

s-8

-8

1/9

c-4

1/9

(0.5-8e)/

( 0.5+8e)

very,very

strongly

less

important

s-7

-7

1/8

c-7/2

2/9

(0.5-7e)/

( 0.5+7e)

demonstrat

edely less

important

s-6

-6

1/7

c-3

3/9

(0.5-6e)/

( 0.5+6e)

strongly

plus

less

important

s-5

-5

1/6

c-5/2

4/9

(0.5-5e)/

( 0.5+5e)

strongly

less

important

s-4

-4

1/5

c-2

5/9

(0.5-4e)/

( 0.5+4e)

moderately

plus

less

important

s-3

-3

c-3/2

6/9

(0.5-3e)/

( 0.5+3e)

moderately

less

important

s-2

-2

1/3

c-1

7/9

(0.5-2e)/

( 0.5+2e)

weakly less

important

s-1

-1

c-1/2

8/9

(0.5-e)/

( 0.5+e)

equally

important

s0

weakly

more

important

s1

c1/2

9/8

(0.5+e)/

( 0.5-e)

moderately

more

important

s2

9/7

(0.5+2e)/

( 0.5-2e)

moderately

plus more

important

s3

c3/2

9/6

(0.5+3e)/

( 0.5-3e)

strongly

more

important

s4

c2

9/5

(0.5+4e)/

( 0.5-4e)

strongly

plus more

important

s5

c5/2

9/4

(0.5+5e)/

( 0.5-5e)

demonststr

atedly more

important

s6

c3

9/3

(0.5+6e)/

( 0.5-6e)

very, very

strongly

more

important

s7

c7/2

9/2

(0.5+7e)/

( 0.5-7e)

extremely

more

important

s8

c4

(0.5+8e)/

( 0.5-8e)

Saaty scale function can be formalized as follows:

f Saaty (s)=I(s)+1 if ss0 and f Saaty (s)=1/(1-I(s)) if s< s0

(6.4-1)

fgeometrical(s)=cI(s)/2 ,c>0

(6.4-2)

f Ma-Zheng (s)=9/(9-I(s)) if ss0 and f Ma-Zheng (s)=(9+I(s))/9 if s< s0

(6.4.-3)

f(s)=(0.5+I(s)e)/( 0.5-I(s)e), where e=1/20 or e=1/17.

(6.4-4)

Perhaps the most important thing to know is what the arguments are, based on

which, one decides the best numerical scale to be applied.

In literature, so far, there are three types of arguments. In the next, these will be

presented in general lines.

First argument refers to the so called priority vectors spatial distribution.

This argument has initially presented in Salo and Hamalainen (1997) at it basically

(2010) is revising this argument in his paper (devoted, as the previous one, to the

introduction of another scale function) by computing all possible priority vectors

for a 22 positive, reciprocal decision matrix and respectively for a 33 one, when

Saatys numerical scale, Salo-Hamalainen and geometrical scales are considered.

The spatial representation in each of these three numerical scales reveals the fact

that no matter the choices for a 22 or 33 decision matrix, when Saaty scale is

applied, there is a narrow range of priority vectors which can be deduced, while the

most uniform distribution for the priority vectors is deduced when a geometrical

scale is applied. This can be interpreted as having (or not) sensitivity of the output

with respect to changes in the input, or a uniform range of possible outputs (as

priority vectors) over the 2 or 3-dimensional hyper planes.

Not going more into specific details of these two cited paper, it has to be

said that only 22 or 33positive, reciprocal decision matrices were taken into

consideration, while perhaps considering higher order such matrices could reveal

more information.

Secondly, one can notice that there is an inverse relationship among the

constant increases in the numerical scale function and the correspondent ones for

the priority vectors. For instance, the Salo-Hamalainen scale belongs to the socalled balanced scales where it is first imposed for the priority vectors to increase

at a constant rate and depending on this, the correspondent numerical scale is

deduced. For example, for a 22 decision matrix, the priorities 0.1, 0.15, 0.2 0.9

correspond to the scale 1, 1.22, 1.5, 1.86, 2.33, 3...9. Again, such a scale function

is derived for two-dimensional decision matrices (where the relation among the

matrix and the priority vector is easy to control) and then extended to decision

matrices of higher dimensions. Also, under the consideration of a certain hierarchy

with criterions and alternatives in variable amounts, the distribution of the possible

priority vectors can change substantially.

Third observation refers to the consistency condition. This is imposed by

the usage of geometrical, Ma-Zheng or Salo-Hamalainen scales and indeed the

result will be priority vectors with the property that the elements in the decision

matrices are precisely the ratio of the correspondent elements in the priority vector.

Thus, by simply adjusting a numerical scale function, all the (in) consistency in

judgments is ruled out, making any comparisons among the decision makers, based

on consistency index for example, useless.

The second argument refers to the problem of minimizing the distance

between the decision matrix reflecting ones judgments and the matrix determined

so that its every element is the inverse of the numerical scale considered, applied

to the ratio of correspondent elements in the priority vector previously computed.

To be more specific, consider D=(dij)i,j=1..n a certain positive, reciprocal LPCM

matrix in which every element is d ij= s. Suppose that to every element d ij a scale

function f is thereafter applied, f(d ij), and as a result a matrix whose elements are

positive real numbers is deduced. Next, consider w=(w i)i=1,..n the corresponding

priority vector. Afterwards, the matrix D f=(d-1ij) i,j=1..n is computed so that its

elements are d-1ij=f-1(wi/ wi). Obviously, if D is not only positive and reciprocal, but

also a consistent matrix, then f(dij)= wi/ wj, so that f(s)= wi/ wj , s= f-1(wi/ wj) and

in the end dij= s= d-1ij, meaning that the two matrices D and D f are identical and

therefore the distance between them is zero. If the matrix D is not consistent, then

the distance between D and D f can be interpreted as a measure of departure from

the consistency ideal in the framework of the scale function f. Dong and

Xu(2006) propose the next deviation measure between two LPCM, say D and D f::

(6.4-5)

Bearing in mind that dij and dij-1 have not numerical values, being instead linguistic

labels, the distance among two linguistic variables, s and s is also defined in the

previously cited paper as being

( 6.4.-6)

where T is the number of linguistic terms in the label set S.

The main problem of this way of measuring departure from consistency is that f

is a scale function defined on a discrete, finite set S of linguistic variables, then

f(S ), the image of this function, is also discrete and finite and therefore it can

happen that (wi/ wj )

f-1(wi/ wj). By doing so, the reciprocity condition in the newly derived matrix D f

can be lost.

The third argument refers to the situation in which the priority vector is

known, and the best scale function to be considered is the one who delivers the

closest priority vector to the ideal, known one. If w=(w i)i=1,..,n is some priority

vector, depending on the choice of a certain scale function f, w=w(f) and if

w*=(w*i) i=1,..,n is the known, true priority vector, then the distance among the two

vectors is expressed through the root mean square error (RMSE):

(6.4.-7)

Then the best numerical scale is the one which is delivering the priority vector

minimizing RMSE.

Problem, the Optics Problem, the Nation Wealth Problem and the Weight

Estimation Problem) in which the true priority vector is known. Based on these

examples, one could for instance decide which of the existent, alternative scale

functions is the most appropriate to be used. Of course, such a decision has

nothing in itself to guarantee that similar choice, on different examples, will be the

best one.

Even if some of these examples were presented in the previous section, we will

briefly recall them, expressing numerical decision matrices using linguistic labels.

The presentation follows the Dong&all (2008) paper.

The Distance Problem deals with the distances of Cairo, Tokyo, Chicago, san

Francisco, London and Montreal from Philadelphia. The relative distances are,

respectively, w*=(0.277,0.3611,0.0320,0.1324,0.1773,0.0194) and the LPCM on

SAHP is given by:

D=

The Optics Problem refers to the estimation of relative brightness. The values of

the actual brightness are w*=(0.6072,0.2186,0.1115,0.0627) and one example of an

LPCM matrix on SAHP is given by:

D=

The Nation Wealth Problem The example deals with the relative estimation of the

gross domestic product (GDP) of seven countries: US, Russia, China, France, UK,

Japan and Germany. The LPCM on SAHP is given by:

D=

The Weight Estimation Problem Tis example deals with the estimation of the

relative weights of five objects. The actual relative weights are

w*=(0.1,0.39,0.2,0.27,0.04) and the LPCM on SAHP is:

D=

In the attempt to correctly measure the responses to a certain decision

problem, it was shown in the previous chapter that several numerical scales were

introduced and their properties were judged from the point of view of three main

criterions. Yet, the feeling that for some problems one numerical scale is

appropriate while for another problem some different one may be better has been

transported to the assumption that inside a certain decision problem, the

respondents may not judge using the same scale function. Therefore, in the

attempt to put some order among the consideration of a certain problemnecessitating the usage of a single, particular scale function- and the variation in

judgments (reaction to stimulus) coming from different decision makers with

different experiences- the idea in the literature was to consider, instead of a single

scale function, a family of ( scale) functions applied to a previously fixed scale

function, indexed by some parameter. In other words, given a set of linguistic

labels, S={s/=-T,-T+1,.-1,0,1,T-1,T}, and assuming a scale function f:SR+

(a monotonically increasing function with f(s )f(s-)=1),one would want to assign

specific values corresponding to distinct decision makers- to the same real

number assigned through a certain scale function. To come up with an example,

assuming that the SAHP linguistic scale is used, to the linguistic label s 2

(corresponding to the linguistic variable moderately preferred) is associated

through a scale function f a real, positive number, f(s 2). If the Saaty scale function

is used (f=fSaaty, see 4.6-1) then f(s2)=3. The idea in considering individual

numerical scales is that the same value, 3, does not apply to all the decision makers

who answered moderately preferred, or, 3=3(t) where t is a parameter

characterizing the specific experience of a particular decision maker. So, if D is a

finite, discrete set of positive integers, counting all the decision makers providing

LPCM decision matrices with respect to some problem, D=(d i)i=1,D (with D it also

denoted the total number of decision makers, or card(D)), by some

procedure(function) to every decision maker-element of the set D, d i-will be

associated a real number t, interpreted as being its particular individual mark. So, a

function g: DR, g(di)=t needs to be introduced. The way in which parameter t is

allocated to di has to be dependent on the LPCM provided by the d i decision maker

(LPCM(di)) , on the scale function considered f (which conduces to a numerical

decision matrix, preferably positive and reciprocal, referred as DM(f,d i)) and

essentially to a function F which is allocating to every f(s ) a pair F(f(s),t), with t

being a real number. The function F is the individual numerical scale, although

the proper individual numerical scale will be found after some particular value for

the parameter t, say ti= t(di)will be determined (the individual numerical scale for

the decision maker di is F(f(s),ti)).It is now obvious that the state of art is the way

in which the function F is introduced. In the following the attention will be focused

on a particular paper on this subject (Liang, Wang, Hua, Zhang (2008)), while the

generalization to other similar individual numerical scales is straightforward.

Before the attention will turn to this particular example, the following diagram will

summarize previous explanations.

The set of decision makers, D, initially fixed

DMn(S)

Mn(R)

Mn(R)

R Mn(R)

diLPCM (di)f(LPCM(di))=DM(f,di)F(DM(f,di),t)ti F(DM(f,di),ti)

The scale function denoted with f is initially chosen and applied to every

element in the matrix LPCM(di); thus, the result is a decision matrix whose

elements are real numbers, DM(f,di).

The function F is applied to every element in the previously positive,

reciprocal decision matrix DM, and every element is made dependent on some

parameter t. Thus, a matrix whose elements are dependent on the parameter t is

deduced, noted with F(DM(f,di),t).

decision maker di is determined from the consistency condition imposed to the

previously matrix, F(DM(f,di),t). Thus, all the elements in this matrix are

calculated for the particular value t i and the individual decision matrix is finalized.

Based on this one, the priority vector, specific to the decision maker d i is

calculated.

In Liang, Wang, Hua, Zhang (2008), the linguistic label set considered is

AHP

S (with 19 linguistic labels) and the scale function is Saatys scale (f=f Saaty).

So the particular decision matrix corresponding to the decision maker d i, DM(f,di)

has as elements integer numbers, k, or their inverses, 1/k, with k taking values

from 1 to 9. If s is a linguistic label to which is applied a scale function, f(s ), lets

suppose that f(s)=k, k=1,9. Then the individual numerical scale introduced in

the previously cited paper is

(6.5-1)

The Ma-Zheng scale presented in the 4.6 section is a particular case of this scale

function, when t=0.

As

Then,

Secondly,

and

, for every

for a scale function. The second condition in the definition of a scale function

would correspond to

reciprocity condition). The equality

the

is equivalent to

(6.5-2)

and this condition is not satisfied, given t>-1 fixed, by all the integers k, from 1 to

9. Therefore, the family of functions F(.,t) is not a scale function by the definition

presented in the section above. Nevertheless, keep in mind that this field of

research is in progress and you can extend the previous definition to one which

would encompass it and also allow for small departures from the reciprocity

condition, perhaps.

The individual scale-parameter ti corresponding to the decision maker di is

identified from the consistency condition applied to the matrix F(DM(f,di),t),

expressed either through an equation statement or through an interval statement.

More specific, if in comparing criterions A to B, the linguistic label s is chosen

with f(s)=kAB ,if in comparing criterions B with C the linguistic label s is selected,

with f(s)=kBC and if in comparing criterion A with C the linguistic label s is

chosen, with f(s)=kAC ( kAB , kAC, kBC

(6.5-3)

which translates into

(6.5-4)

Therefore, according to the relation (4.7-1) in which a particular form for the

function f is considered, parameter t i , describing the individual numerical scale

used specific to the decision maker di is the solution to the next equation:

(6.5-5)

Zhang (2008)):

Theorem Given kAB,kBC and kAC

{2,8},where kAB

Examples of possible combinations of kAB , kBC , kAC and the corresponding t-values

are illustrated in the next table, while all the possible combinations with the

corresponding t values (47 combinations with kAC< 9 and 24 possible combinations

with kAC= 9) are listed in the previously cited paper.

Table 2.

kAB

kBC

kAc

t=ti

2

2

3

7

5

6

8

2

7

5

7

7

8

8

3

8

6

8

9

9

9

1.2426

2.5414

-0.2251

-0.9157

0.90651

-0.13485

-0.6

numerical scale

determining a good measure of individual scale is based on the development

of a simple hierarchy model with one goal and five criterions. Using the

terminology in AHP, the goal is to determine a vector of priorities among

few factors determining the demand of life insurances at the ING Company,

Bucharest. The linguistic label set is SAHP and the scale function f is the

Saaty scale function. The criterions are as follows: legislation (C1), trust in

ING (C2), general trends in state pensions-pillar 1(C3), perception of risk

(C4) and revenue (C5). The questions asked make the distinction between

dominance and intensity. The dominance is established through a question

of the type: In your decision to buy a life insurance at the ING Company

which one is more important: legislation or trust in ING ? . The intensity is

established by the next question: On a scale from 1 to 9 (1-equally

important, 9-extremely important) by how much is more important in your

decision the criterion you mentioned in comparison to the other one?. The

survey was delivered among the INGs clients who bought a life insurance.

Every respondent had to answer 10 questions setting the dominance among

the five criterions and 10 questions setting the intensity of their preferences.

The survey was designed and conducted electronically, using a professional

account in the Survey Monkey template. Please notice that since the

beginning, the Saaty scale was assumed and therefore the question

regarding intensity of preference was asked in numerical terms, on a scale

from 1 to 9. Therefore, using the previous notations, for the decision maker

reciprocal decision matrix DM(f,di), referred in the next as DM i. So, to

conclude, previously described paired comparison judgments in the onelayer hierarchy are summarized in a (5,5) matrix of judgments DMi .The

corresponding vector of priorities is calculated in an eigenvalue

formulation. The solution is obtained by raising the matrix to a sufficiently

large power, then summing over the rows and normalizing to obtain the

priority vector. The process is stopped when the difference between

components of the priority vector obtained at the k-th power and at the

(k+1) power is less than some predetermined small value. Starting from the

matrix of preferences built on the basis of the firs respondents answers, it is

illustrated how the parameter t in the individual scale of measurement F(k,t)

(as introduced in 4.7-1) can be determined, the problems raised and the

relation with the associated consistency index (CI). The CI was calculated

using the SuperDecisions Software.

Suppose that for a decision maker, shortly referred as Decision Maker 1(D 1) the

next matrix of choices is built, as presented in Table 1:

C1

C2

C3

C4

C5

C1

1

6

5

5

8

C2

C3

0.16666667 0.2

1

5

1

7

6

6

C4

0.2

0.14285714

5

1

5

C5

0.125

0.16666667

0.16666667

0.2

1

As it can be noticed, apart of the unitary elements on the main diagonal and the

values belonging to the range {1,29}, the rest are to be completed according to

the reciprocity condition, so that if the a 31 element in the DM 1 matrix is 5, the a13

element is going to be 1/5.

If one is considering the A choice being the C5 criterion (A:C5), B choice being the

C4 criterion (B:C4) and the C choice being the C 1 criterion (C:C1) then kAB=5, kBC=5

and kAC=8. The compulsory condition (CC) indicated in the Liang, Wang, Hua,

Zhang (2008) paper, namely

kA kBC> kAC

(CC)

is obviously satisfied and as well it is satisfied the supplementary condition (SC)

indicated in the Appendix of this paper, namely

kABkBC<kAC

The individual parameter t is determined from the condition

(SC)

(see(4.7-4))

with

individual scale is fulfilled.

What one could do, admitting that she believes that this is the secret determination

of the DM1?

The next step would be to map all the DMs answers into the F (k, 1.16931) map ,

rewrite accordingly the matrix of pairwise comparisons and derive the

correspondent vector of priorities.

In Table 2 is presented the matrix of the DM 1s mapped answers (DM1individual scale)

into the F (k, 1.16931) map:

C1

C2

C3

C4

C5

C1

1

C2

C3

C4

C5

0.32276252 0.41553902 0.41553902 0.17267249

3.0982 1

2.4065129 0.24261133 0.32276252

531

2.4065129

2.4065129

5.7913104

0.41553902 1

2.4065129

4.1218190 0.41553902 1

3.0982531 3.0982531 2.4065129

0.32276252

0.41553902

1

Table 2: The matrix of the DM1s mapped answers (DM1individual scale) into the F (k,

1.16931) map

The vectors of priorities corresponding to the DM 1 and DM1individual scale matrices are

presented in Table 3.

Criterions

C1 (legislation)

C2 (trust in ING)

C3 (general trends in state

pensions)

C4 (perception of risk)

C5 (revenue)

DM1 matrix

DM1-individual

scale

matrix

0.047882735

0.064140310

0.13291354

0.15444047

0.14305907

0.17420389

0.15321899

0.52292566

0.19814399

0.40907133

Table 3: Vectors of priorities corresponding to the DM1 and DM1individual scale matrices

Continuing in the same line of reasoning, instead of aggregating vectors of

priorities coming from brute matrices of pairwise comparisons, it could be

aggregated vectors of priorities for the correspondent individual scale matrices.

Therefore, there is no longer needed a large number of respondents, since each of

them was adjusted corresponding to its individual scale. Apart of this, respondents

can be grouped corresponding to the individual levels of consistency, instead of

exterior, predetermined criterions like age, sex, education, so on so forth. So, the

huge advantage of determining a good individual scale through which any

individual subjectivity can be better assessed in the framework of a survey

becomes now clearer.

In the following will be examined the shortcomings of the particular method

presented in Liang, Wang, Hua, Zhang (2008) paper, thus opening few directions

for further improvements.

One can notice that in an example as the one presented above, if there are

more than three criterions (or alternatives) in an hierarchy, the decision matrix

corresponding to the aggregation of these criterions has a dimension strictly greater

than 3 and therefore there are at most four different ways of considering the A, B,

C choices and consequently at most four different values for the parameter t,

reflecting individual choices.

In the example presented above, apart of the determination done initially

corresponding to a value of the individual parameter t equal to1.1693, one could

consider the other possible next alternatives: A=C 5, B=C2, C=C1 with

kAB=6,kBC=6,kAC=8. This choice is also checking both compulsory (CC)and

supplementary (SC) conditions, namely kAB kBC> kAC and kAB kBC< kAC. The

corresponding value of the parameter t is -0.25, negative but still in the range (1,). Table 3 is completed with the vector of priorities corresponding to the DM1individual scale for t=-0.25 as shown in Table 4.:

Criterions

for DM1 matrix

for DM1individual scale for DM1individual scale

matrix,

matrix,

=1.1693

C1 (legislation)

C2 (trust in ING)

C3 (general trends

0.047882735

0.13291354

0.14305907

0.064140310

0.15444047

0.17420389

=-0.25

0.095530538

0.16968256

0.18714776

in

state

pensions)

C4 (perception of

risk)

C5 (revenue)

0.15321899

0.19814399

0.21321601

0.52292566

0.40907133

0.33442314

=1.1693 and

scale

matrices for

=-0.25

As it can be noticed, there is still no problem about rank reversal, yet for the choice

of A=C2, B=C3, C=C1 corresponding to kAB=5,kBC=5,kAC=6, also checking kAB kBC>

kAC and kAB kBC< kAC , we get the value

For the second respondent in this survey (DM 2 matrix), there is only one

combination of criterions, A=C 2, B=C3, C=C1 with kAB=4,kBC=4,kAC=7 checking

both the compulsory and the supplementary conditions for which the

corresponding t is

CI2=0.5573. Also, there are 5 more combinations of criterions checking only the

compulsory condition kAB kBC> kAC for which the corresponding t-values are out of

the admissible range.

For the third respondent (DM3 matrix ) there are two combinations of criterions

A,B and C checking both the compulsory and supplementary conditions and

yielding to the same value of the parameter t,

combinations checking only the compulsory condition with values for the

parameter t out of the admissible range. The consistency index for DM 3 matrix is

CI3=0.4703.

For the fourth respondent there is no combination of criterions A,B and C checking

both compulsory and supplementary conditions and CI 4=1.1020 and for the fifth

respondent there is only one combination of criterions A, B and C checking

compulsory and supplementary conditions with

the parameter t outside the admissible range. The consistency index for DM 5

matrix is CI5=0.4715.

Therefore, is obvious that the way it is introduced in the original paper Liang,

Wang, Hua, Zhang (2008), the determination of the individual scale of

measurement is not uniquely determined for a certain decision matrix of a

dimension strictly higher than three.

The determination of the priority vectors corresponding to positive ,reciprocal

matrix-a decision matrix-relay on the general finding that proper values (w i)i=1,2..ncorresponding to positive, reciprocal matrices A=(a ij)i,j=1,2...n checking aijajk=aik and

aij=aji have the next property:

for every i,j =1,2,..n, every element aij in the A matrix is the ratio w i/wj, where

Aw=n w In.

Therefore, the matrix A with aijajk=aik is regarded as being a decision matrix in

which every element represents the ratio among the importance associated with

criterion i (wi) to the importance associated with criterion j (wj) .

If a certain reciprocal decision matrix A is not consistent, yet the difference a ijajk-aik

is acceptable low, for every i,j,k, then it can be shown that correspondent changes

in the proper vector are still holding the difference a ij-wi/wj sensible low. Another

important result from the matrix theory of interest in the further considerations is

that if 1, 2, n are the proper values corresponding to the proper vectors

w1,w2,..wn so that max=max{ i}i=1,..n then the matrix A is consistent if and only if

max=n and always holds true the inequality max n. As a result, a measure for the

departures from the consistency condition is the consistency index CI introduces as

being the ratio between (max -n) and (n-1) : CI=( max-n)/(n-1) .High values of the

consistency index indicate high changes in understanding and therefore instable

decisions. An acceptable amount of inconsistency, quantified by the condition

CI<0.1 is explained by the fact that new knowledge also requires slightly changes

in the preferences. According to Saaty (2010), Assuming that all knowledge

should be consistent contradicts experience that requires continued revision of

understanding.

The consistency condition for a certain decision matrix is therefore alleviated

trough the determination of an individual numerical scale expressed through the

individual parameter t >-1 so that F(kAB , t) F(kBC,t)= F(kAC ,t). Given also the fact

that as t, F(k,t) k which means that individuals with high values of the

parameter t are closer to the uniform, original scale of Saatys, one would expect

that for a consistent decision maker, its decision matrix expressed in the original

Saatys scale would correspond to a high value of the parameter t and a low value

condition).

So, it should be observed an inverse, monotonic relationship among the individual

parameter t and the corresponding consistency index.

In the previous section there were observed the following relations among the

individual parameter t and corresponding consistency index:

t=2.1623, CI2=0.5573

t=1.246 CI4=0.4715

t=-0.6, CI3=0.4703

Apart of the previous findings, one can also check the following:

If a12=2,a23=5,a13=5 then CI=0.051 and t=-0.989 ,

if a12=2,a23=7,a13=6 then CI=0.077211 and t=-0.989,

if a12=2,a23=3,a13=2 then CI=0.1288 and t=-0.989.

This shows that apart of the fact that the inverse monotonic relationship among

consistency index and parameter t is not working, also the determination of the

individual parameter t in the context of the analyzed individual numerical scale

cannot distinguish among quite different preferences.

Regarding the problem of the determination of a unitary individual

numerical scale among a hierarchy, the problem can be extended to a whole

hierarchy and to the answers provided in the context of an survey by a single

respondent. It is necessary therefore to be able to come up with a single

representation of the individuals answers, for the whole hierarchy considered.

Thus, one can determine the uniquely determined t * for the whole particular

hierarchy considered so that the sum of the distances between the highest proper

value and the correspondent matrix dimension is at minimum. The distance

between the initial vector of priorities of a certain respondent and the vector of

priorities recalculated using the numerical scale optimally determined for the

particular respondent under consideration will enter as a measure of spread around

the mean of optimized vector of priorities and the sum of all individuals spread

will be a measure of the standard deviation around the mean.

The previous considerations highlight the potential benefits of determining

good individual numerical scales in the framework of AHP and in line with the

findings of Liang, Wang, Hua, Zhang (2008). On the other hand it shows on a

particular example corresponding to a one layer hierarchy with five criterions that

major identification problems can occur in the attempt to apply the theoretical

results in the previously cited paper. Also, there is an irregular dependence between

the consistency measured through the consistency index and the individual

consistency measure from the previously discussed scale. As a conclusion, the

problem of calculating individual scale for more than three alternatives should be

need to a more unitary definition and calculation of the consistencys choices for a

certain decision maker.

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