Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris

Multiple criteria decision making

  • Ramaswamy Ramesh
  • Stanley Zionts
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_653


Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) refers to making decisions in the presence of multiple, usually conflicting, objectives. Multiple criteria decision problems pervade almost all decision situations ranging from common household decisions to complex strategic and policy level decisions in corporations and governments. Prior to the development of MCDM as a discipline, such problems have been traditionally addressed as single-criterion optimization problems by (i) deriving a composite measure of the objectives and optimizing it, or (ii) by choosing one of the objectives as the main decision objective for optimization and solving the problem by requiring an acceptable level of achievement in each of the other objectives. The emergence of MCDM as a discipline has been founded on two key concepts of human behavior, introduced and explored in detail by Herbert Simon in the 1950s: satisficing and bounded rationality. The two are inter-twined because satisficing involves...

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramaswamy Ramesh
    • 1
  • Stanley Zionts
    • 1
  1. 1.State University of New York at BuffaloNew YorkUSA