Rough sets theory for multicriteria decision analysis

Salvatore Greco, Benedetto Matarazzo, Roman Slowinski

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    The original rough set approach proved to be very useful in dealing with inconsistency problems following from information granulation. It operates on a data table composed of a set U of objects (actions) described by a set Q of attributes. Its basic notions are: indiscernibility relation on U, lower and upper approximation of either a subset or a partition of U, dependence and reduction of attributes from Q, and decision rules derived from lower approximations and boundaries of subsets identified with decision classes. The original rough set idea is failing, however, when preference-orders of attribute domains (criteria) are to be taken into account. Precisely, it cannot handle inconsistencies following from violation of the dominance principle. This inconsistency is characteristic for preferential information used in multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) problems, like sorting, choice or ranking. In order to deal with this kind of inconsistency a number of methodological changes to the original rough sets theory is necessary. The main change is the substitution of the indiscernibility relation by a dominance relation, which permits approximation of ordered sets in multicriteria sorting. To approximate preference relations in multicriteria choice and ranking problems, another change is necessary: substitution of the data table by a pairwise comparison table, where each row corresponds to a pair of objects described by binary relations on particular criteria. In all those MCDA problems, the new rough set approach ends with a set of decision rules playing the role of a comprehensive preference model. It is more general than the classical functional or relational model and it is more understandable for the users because of its natural syntax. In order to workout a recommendation in one of the MCDA problems, we propose exploitation procedures of the set of decision rules. Finally, some other recently obtained results are given: rough approximations by means of similarity relations, rough set handling of missing data, comparison of the rough set model with Sugeno and Choquet integrals, and results on equivalence of a decision rule preference model and a conjoint measurement model which is neither additive nor transitive.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-47
    JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2001


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