Multiple criteria ranking and choice with all compatible minimal cover sets of decision rules

Miłosz Kadziński, Roman Słowiński, Salvatore Greco

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We introduce a new multiple criteria ranking/choice method that applies Dominance-based Rough Set Approach (DRSA) and represents the Decision Maker’s (DM’s) preferences with decision rules. The DM provides a set of pairwise comparisons indicating whether an outranking (weak preference) relation should hold for some pairs of reference alternatives. This preference information is structured using the lower and upper approximations of outranking (S ) and non-outranking (ScSc) relations. Then, all minimal-cover (MC) sets of decision rules being compatible with this preference information are induced. Each of these sets is supported by some positive examples (pairs of reference alternatives from the lower approximation of a preference relation) and it does not cover any negative example (pair of alternatives from the upper approximation of an opposite preference relation). The recommendations obtained by all MC sets of rules are analyzed to describe pairwise outranking and non-outranking relations, using probabilistic indices (estimates of probabilities that one alternative outranks or does not outrank the other). Furthermore, given the preference relations obtained in result of application of each MC set of rules on a considered set of alternatives, we exploit them using some scoring procedures. From this, we derive the distribution of ranks attained by the alternatives. We also extend the basic approach in several ways. The practical usefulness of the method is demonstrated on a problem of ranking Polish cities according to their innovativeness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-583
Number of pages15
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Early online date11 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


  • decision analysis
  • decision rule
  • multiple criteria ranking
  • pairwise comparisons
  • dominance-based rough set approach
  • scoring procedures


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