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Table 1 Advantages and disadvantages of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis techniques [39, 40]

From: Optimisation of maintenance in delivery systems for cytostatic medicines

Technique Advantages Disadvantages Areas of application
Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) Easy to use; scalable; the hierarchy structure can be easily adjusted to many sized problems; not data intensive; the use of pairwise comparisons allows more accurate information to be obtained from decision makers.
Check inconsistency in the judgements
Problems due to interdependence between criteria and alternatives; can lead to inconsistencies between judgement and ranking criteria; rank reversal. Performance problems, resource management, corporate policy and strategy, public policy, political strategy and planning.
Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) A simple process; easy to use and programme; the number of steps remains the same regardless of the number of criteria; it returns stable results if input data are oscillating. More robust involving all stakeholders and interrelations between alternatives and objectives. The use of Euclidean distances does not take into account the correlation of criteria; difficult to weight and to maintain consistency between judgements. Rank reversal. Supply chain management and logistics, engineering, manufacturing systems, business and marketing, environment, human resources and water resources management.
Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) Ability to compensate between criteria; intuitive for decision makers; simple calculation. Estimates do not always reflect the real situations; the results obtained may not be logical. Water management, business and financial management.
ELimination Et Choix Traduisant la REalité (ELECTRE) Accounts for uncertainty and vagueness. Its process and results may be complex to explain in layman’s terms; outranking can lead to the strengths and weaknesses of the alternatives not being directly identified. Rank reversal. Energy, economics, environmental, water management and transportation problem.
Preference Ranking Organization METHod for Enrichment of Evaluations (PROMETHEE) Easy to use; does not require assumption that criteria are proportionate. Provides no procedure for obtaining weights for the criteria. Rank reversal. Environmental hydrology, water management, business and finance, chemistry, logistics and transportation, manufacturing and assembly, energy, agriculture.
Measuring attractiveness through a categorical-based evaluation technique[(MACBETH) Uses a value tree to structure a problem; the use of pairwise comparisons allows more accurate information to be obtained from decision makers. Avoids inconsistency in the judgements. Uses two reference levels for more objective judgements. Its application is time-consuming. Airport management, credit scoring, and strategic town planning, maintenance, energy, water management.
VIekriterijumsko KOmpromisno Rangiranje (VIKOR) Able to establish the stability of decision performance; aggregate function is closest to the best solutions; the criteria selected may not allow homogeneous aggregation Searching for the compromise ranking order; use of complex linear normalisation process; needs initial weights. Renewable energy, service quality, earthquake
sustainable reconstruction, material selection, land-use strategy