The ELECTRE Systems

  • Freerk A. Lootsma
Part of the Applied Optimization book series (APOP, volume 8)


The ELECTRE systems are central to the French school in MCDA where a complete or incomplete rank order of the alternatives is built up via outranking relations under the individual criteria. In the pairwise comparison step the outranking relation between two alternatives under a given criterion is established by inspection of the difference between the physical or monetary values expressing the performance of the respective alternatives. The key question is to find certain discrimination thresholds to categorize the differences. The indifference, preference, and veto thresholds in ELECTRE III constitute the basis for two fuzzy concepts: the degree of concordance (the degree of agreement or harmony with the statement that the first alternative in the pair is at least as good as the second), and the degree of discordance (the degree of disagreement with the above statement). A so-called distillation procedure will eventually produce a not necessarily complete rank order of the alternatives. The French school is based upon the idea of constructivism which implies that a coherent system of preferences and values is not necessarily present in the decision maker’s mind at the beginning of the decision process. It may be constructed, however, by the decision maker and the analyst together in the course of the process. We will show that the elicitation of the discrimination thresholds can be simplified considerably when the performance of the alternatives is expressed in SMART grades, and we will extensively discuss the idea of constructivism at the end of this chapter.


Fuzzy Logic Rank Order ELECTRE System Discrimination Threshold Strict Preference 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Freerk A. Lootsma
    • 1
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyThe Netherlands

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