, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 21-42
Date: 31 Dec 2005

The Role of the DS/AHP in Identifying Inter-Group Alliances and Majority Rule Within Group Decision Making

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Abstract

DS/AHP is a nascent method of multi-criteria decision-making, based on the Dempster-Shafer theory of evidence and indirectly the Analytic Hierarchy Process. It is concerned with the identification of the levels of preference that decision makers have towards certain decision alternatives (DAs), through preference judgements made over a number of different criteria. The working result from a DS/AHP analysis is the body of evidence (BOE), which includes a series of mass values that represent the exact beliefs in the best DA(s) existing within certain subsets of DAs. This paper considers the role of DS/AHP as an aid to group decision-making, through the utilisation of a distance measure (between BOEs). Here, the distance measure enables the identification of the members of the decision-making group who are in most agreement, with respect to the judgements they have individually made. The utilisation of a single linkage dendrite approach to clustering elucidates an appropriate order to the aggregation of the judgements of the group members. This develops the DS/AHP method as a tool to identify inter-group alliances, as well as introduce a ‘majority rule’ approach to decision-making through consensus building.