Delft University of Technology
Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Transport Technology

J.F. Otte Beslissingsprocedures voor de operations research.
Literature survey, Report 93.3.TT.4096, Transport Engineering and Logistics.

In the operations research field a number of techniques available for choosing the best alternative from a set. Most of these decision making techniques involve giving all alternatives a numerical grade. This process brings forth two problems.

Firstly, in some cases only a human assessment (semantical) is possible. This must be transformed into a numerical grade to make comparison and combination possible. If all alternatives in the problem considerd can be compared (relative assessment), the Analytic Hierarchy Process, or the multiplicative variant of that method, can be used to calculate the numerical grade. In most applications in the operations research field, however, only absolute assessments are possible, in which case the AHP (absolute) or the direct rating technique should be used. In stationary situations it is possible to calculate the numerical grades just once, after which the decision maker only needs to choose one of the semantical evaluations.

The second problem is the multi criteria analysis. The alternatives are assessed for their performance with regard to several criteria. Some procedure combine the evaluations to form one final, numerical grade, and other MCA procedures determine a preference preorder of all the alternatives. The most common technique is to calculate the sum of the assessments, with weights for the criteria. To determine the criteria weights, one can use the AHP or the MAV function. The outranking and interactive techniques are useful in some situations, but are not suitable for application in operations research.

To further illustrate the decision process, the best techniques have been applied in two case studies concerning a railterminal.

Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
Modified: 2008.05.10; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.