Visualising multi-criteria weight elicitation by multiple stakeholders in complex decision systems

  • Pierre L. KunschEmail author
  • Jean-Pierre Brans
Original paper


An efficient and transparent weight elicitation technique is proposed for inclusion into the adaptive, systemic, control and multi-criteria-based methodology, in short ASCM, the purpose of which is piloting in real time complex systems by combining system dynamics (SD) and multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). Piloting policies are established and revised on a regular basis and/or constant real-time observation by means of SD simulations; at each revision step groups of stakeholders choose by means of MCDA tools the best policy to be implemented for the ensuing time periods when adaptations are necessary to account for the actual system evolution. An essential but difficult issue at each policy revision step is the weight elicitation process of multiple criteria by the multiple stakeholder groups (SH). The proposed procedure with a strong mathematical background does not require excessive cognitive effort for SH with different priorities and decisional powers. It consists in a two-step approach defining firstly importance classes on ordinal Likert scales, and secondly profiles on those scales for the criteria. It appears to be simple though rigorous; it easily allows fast sensitivity analyses when confronting different opinions. A didactic example and a fishery-management case study illustrate these properties by means of visualisation tools facilitating consensus-seeking among SH.


Complex systems Multiple criteria Weight elicitation Multiple stakeholders Visualisation tools 

Mathematics Subject Classification




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BUTO DepartmentVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium

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