Comparison of Different Multi Criteria Decision-Making Models in Prioritizing Flood Management Alternatives


Recent increases in life loss, destruction and property damages caused by flood at global scale, have inevitably highlighted the pivotal considerations of sustainable development through flood risk management. Throughout the paper, a practical framework to prioritize the flood risk management alternatives for Gorganrood River in Iran was applied. Comparison between multi criteria decision making (MCDM) models with different computational mechanisms provided an opportunity to obtain the most conclusive model. Non-parametric stochastic tests, aggregation models and sensitivity analysis were employed to investigate the most suitable ranking model for the case study. The outcomes of these mentioned tools illustrated that ELimination and Et Choice Translating Reality (ELECTRE III), a non-compensatory model, stood superior to the others. Moreover, Eigen-vector’s performance for assigning weights to the criteria was proved by the application of Kendall Tau Correlation Coefficient Test. From the technical point of view, the highest priority among the criteria belonged to a social criteria named Expected Average Number of Casualties per year. Furthermore, an alternative with pre and post disaster effectiveness was determined as the top-rank measure. This alternative constituted flood insurance plus flood warning system. The present research illustrated that ELECTRE III could deal with the complexity of flood management criteria. Hence, this MCDM model would be an effective tool for dealing with complex prioritization issues.

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Fig. 1
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Fig. 3



Multi criteria decision making


VlseKriterijumska optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje


Technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution


Elimination et choice translating reality


Expected average number of casualties per year


Spearman correlation coefficient test


Spearman correlation coefficients


Simple additive weighing


Modified TOPSIS


Analytical hierarchy process


Compromise programming


Expected annual damage


Kendall tau correlation coefficient test


Kendall tau correlation coefficient


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The authors would like to acknowledge insightful comments from the anonymous reviewers and the associate editor on the previous version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nastaran Chitsaz.

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Chitsaz, N., Banihabib, M.E. Comparison of Different Multi Criteria Decision-Making Models in Prioritizing Flood Management Alternatives. Water Resour Manage 29, 2503–2525 (2015).

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  • Flood risk management
  • Decision making
  • Iran
  • Non-parametric stochastic tests
  • Aggregation methods
  • Sensitivity analysis