Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1021–1050 | Cite as

TOPSIS Based Approach to Scoring Negotiating Offers in Negotiation Support Systems

  • Tomasz WachowiczEmail author
  • Paweł Błaszczyk
Open Access


In this paper we analyze the possibility of applying the technique for order preferences by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) to building the scoring system for negotiating offers. TOPSIS is a multiple criteria decision making method that is based on measuring distances between alternatives under consideration and two bipolar reference alternatives, a positive and negative ideal. Thus the criteria used for the evaluation of alternatives should be described using strong scales. However, in the negotiation, the issues are very often described qualitatively, which results in ordinal or even nominal variables that must be taken into consideration in offers’ evaluation process. What is more, TOPSIS may be applied to solving the discrete decision problems while the negotiation space may be defined by the means of continuous variables too. In this paper we try to modify the TOPSIS algorithm to make it applicable to negotiation support and, moreover, discuss the following methodological issues: using TOPSIS for a negotiation problem with continuous negotiation space; selecting the distance measure for adequate representation of negotiator’s preferences and measuring distances for qualitative issues. Finally, we propose a simple additional mechanism that allows for building the TOPSIS-based scoring system for negotiating offers and does not involve negotiators in time consuming and tiresome preference elicitation process. This mechanism requires from negotiators to construct examples of offers that represent some categories of quality and then by using a goal programming approach it infers all the parameters required by the TOPSIS algorithm. We also show a simple prototype software tool that applies the TOPSIS modified algorithm and may be used in electronic negotiation support.


Negotiation support Electronic negotiation Preference analysis Scoring system for negotiating offers Continuous negotiation space TOPSIS Distance measures Goal programming 



This research was partially supported by the grant of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (N N111 234936).

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.


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© The Author(s) 2012

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Operation ResearchUniversity of Economics in KatowiceKatowicePoland
  2. 2.Institute of MathematicsUniversity of SilesiaKatowicePoland

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