Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 325–354 | Cite as

A Hierarchical Clustering Approach Based on Three-Dimensional Gray Relational Analysis for Clustering a Large Group of Decision Makers with Double Information

  • Jianjun Zhu
  • Shitao Zhang
  • Ye Chen
  • Lili Zhang


Two types of information, collectively referred to as double information, are usually required in management decision-making. The first is preference information expressed in a judgment matrix. The second is reference information expressed in a multi-attribute decision matrix. In this paper, we investigate large-scale group clustering problems with double information in group decision-making. We first establish a novel three-dimensional gray correlation degree index, which integrates the alternative decision-making vector, index vector and alternative preference vector, to fully excavate the correlation between decision makers with double information. We then develop a new clustering procedure combining three-dimensional gray relational analysis and the concept of hierarchical clustering. Moreover, a model for determining clustering centers is established on the basis of the maximum gray correlation degree within each cluster and minimum gray correlation degree among clusters. A heuristic algorithm for the model to identify the core decision maker in each cluster is proposed. Finally, we illustrate the applications of the developed procedures with a practical case. The rationality of the proposed method is demonstrated by comparing results with results obtained using other methods, including the traditional gray clustering method and hierarchical clustering method with single information; i.e., preference information or reference information.


Group decision Double information Gray correlation degree Clustering center 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project Nos. 90924022, 70701017, 71171112).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianjun Zhu
    • 1
  • Shitao Zhang
    • 1
  • Ye Chen
    • 1
  • Lili Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Economics and ManagementNanjing University of Aeronautics and AstronauticsNanjingChina

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