Soft Computing

, Volume 22, Issue 15, pp 5073–5090 | Cite as

An enhanced fuzzy evidential DEMATEL method with its application to identify critical success factors

  • Yuzhen Han
  • Yong DengEmail author


Due to the frequent occurrence of accidental and destructive disasters, it is essential to improve the performance of emergency systems. Facing the fact that the performance of emergency system depends on various factors and it is not feasible to optimize all these factors simultaneously due to the limitation of resources. A feasible solution is to select and improve some important factors. In this paper, a novel enhanced fuzzy evidential decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method to identifying critical success factors (CSFs) is proposed. In the proposed method, we combine Dempster–Shafer evidence theory and DEMATEL method. Firstly, direct relations between factors are evaluated by multiple domain experts with intuitionistic fuzzy numbers (IFNs). Then, IFNs are transformed to basic probability assignments (BPAs) and can be combined by Dempster combination rule. In addition, the uncertainty and fuzziness of BPAs due to the lack of knowledge are taken into consideration to make final decision. Finally, implementing DEMATEL method, we can figure out cause–effect categories of factors with the DEMATEL method. The cause factors are identified as CSFs. The proposed method can well tackle subjectivity and fuzziness of experts evaluations. Based on the proposed method, the optimization of emergency management can be significantly simplified into optimizing CSFs. Through optimizing these CSFs, the performance of the whole systems can be significantly improved.


Emergency management Intuitionistic fuzzy sets Dempster–Shafer evidence theory Total uncertainty measure DEMATEL 



The authors are grateful to anonymous reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions on improving this paper.


The work is partially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61573290, 61503237), and China Scholarship Council.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Yuzhen Han declares that he has no conflict of interest. Yong Deng declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Fundamental and Frontier ScienceUniversity of Electronic Science and Technology of ChinaChengduChina
  2. 2.School of Computer and Information ScienceSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina

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