The Alternatives in Perspective

Part of the Applied Optimization book series (APOP, volume 29)


The question of what preference actually is and how it is triggered has rarely been discussed in the literature on MCDA although it is of prime importance. How do we see the alternatives? Methods for MCDA are designed to reveal the (pre-existing?) preferences of the decision makers via more or less sophisticated elicitation procedures. Since the true nature of preference is not a point of discussion there are several schools in MCDA. Some of them advocate ordinal methods with the argument that the decision makers cannot accurately measure their preference intensities. Others, however, develop cardinal methods because they are convinced that subjective measurement of preference intensity is feasible and sufficiently reliable indeed. Thus, the unresolved issue of what preference actually is and how it can be modelled strongly affects the development of MCDA methods. For an extensive discussion of the issue we refer the reader to the Chapters 7 and 10 of Von Winterfeldt and Edwards (1986).


Decision Maker Colour Perception Golden Section Colour Categorization Musical Composition 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

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