A Framework for Sensitivity Analysis in Spatial Multiple Criteria Evaluation

  • Arika Ligmann-Zielinska
  • Piotr Jankowski
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5266)


The paper presents a framework for sensitivity analysis (SA) in spatial multiple criteria evaluation (S-MCE). The framework focuses on three aspects of S-MCE: spatiality, scope, and cardinality. Spatiality stresses the importance of spatial criteria and spatial weights that should be explicitly considered in GIS-based MCE. Scope relates to the extent of SA, ranging from local one-at-a-time criterion examination to global testing of interdependencies among the multiple criteria model components. Cardinality addresses the duality of motivation for performing SA, namely, single-user learning and group consensus building. The framework organizes the existing SA techniques according to spatiality and scope and can be used as a conceptual guide in selecting SA techniques fitting a task at hand.


Spatial Multiple Criteria Evaluation Sensitivity Analysis SDSS 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Alexander, E.R.: Sensitivity Analysis in Complex Decision Models. Journal of American Planning Association 55, 323–333 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Andrienko, G., Andrienko, N., Jankowski, P.: Building Spatial Decision Support Tools for Individuals and Groups. Journal of Decision Systems 12, 193–208 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Andrienko, N., Andrienko, G.: Exploratory Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Data: A Systematic Approach. Springer, Berlin (2005)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ascough II, J.C., Rector, H.D., Hoagh, D.L., McMaster, D.L., Vandenberg, B.C., Shaffer, M.J., Weltz, M.A., Ahja, L.R.: Multicriteria Spatial Decision Support Systems: Overview, Applications, and Future Research Directions. In: Rizzoli, A.E., Jakeman, A.J. (eds.) Integrated Assessment and Decision Support, Proceedings of the First Biennial Meeting of the iEMSs, vol. 3, pp. 175–180 (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bankes, S.C.: Tools and techniques for developing policies for complex and uncertain systems. In: PNAS 1999, pp. 7263–7266 (2002)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Belton, V., Stewart, T.J.: Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis An Integrated Approach. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bojórquez-Tapia, L.A., Sánchez-Colon, S., Martinez, A.F.: Building Consensus in Environmental Impact Assessment Through Multicriteria Modeling and Sensitivity Analysis. Environmental Management 36, 469–481 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Brookes, C.J.: A parameterized region growing program for the site allocation on raster suitability maps. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 11, 375–396 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Carver, S.J.: Integrating multi-criteria evaluation with geographical information systems. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 5, 321–339 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chen, K., Blong, R., Jacobson, C.: MCE-RISK: integrating multicriteria evaluation and GIS for risk decision-making in natural hazards. Environmental Modelling and Software 16, 387–397 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Couclelis, H.: Requirements for planning-relevant GIS: a spatial perspective. Papers in Regional Science The Journal of the RSAI 70, 9–19 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cromley, R.G., Huffman, F.T.: Modeling Situation Factors Used in MCE Procedures for Raster GIS. Transactions in GIS 10, 239–251 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Crosetto, M., Tarantola, S.: Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis: tools for GIS-based model implementation. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 15, 415–437 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Delgado, M., Sendra, J.B.: Sensitivity Analysis in Multicriteria Spatial Decision-Making: A Review. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 10, 1173–1187 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Densham, P.J.: Spatial Decision Support Systems. In: Longley, P.A., Goodchild, M.F., Maguire, D.J., Rhind, D.W. (eds.) Geographical Information Systems: Principles and Applications, 1st edn., pp. 403–412. Longman, London (1991)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    DiBiase, D., Demers, M., Johnson, A., Kemp, K., Taylor-Luck, A., Plewe, B., Wentz, E.: Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge. UCGIS, AAG (2006)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Eastman, J.R.: Multi-criteria evaluation and GIS. In: Longley, P.A., Goodchild, M.F., Maguire, D.J., Rhind, D.W. (eds.) Geographical Information Systems: Principles, Techniques, Management and Applications, 2nd edn., pp. 493–502. Wiley, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Feick, R.D., Hall, G.B.: A method for examining the spatial dimension of multi-criteria weight sensitivity. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 18, 815–840 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    French, S.: The role of sensitivity analysis in decision analysis. In: Executive Information Systems and Decision Support, UNICOM, Applied Information Technology, vol. 15, pp. 99–123. Chapman and Hall, Boca Raton (1992)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    French, S., Xu, D.-L.: of Multi-attribute Decision Analytic Software. Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 14, 65–80 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Getis, A., Aldstadt, J.: Constructing the spatial weights matrix using a local statistic. Geographical Analysis 36, 90–104 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gómez-Delgado, M., Tarantola, S.: GLOBAL sensitivity analysis, GIS and multi-criteria evaluation for a sustainable planning of a hazardous waste disposal site in Spain. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 20, 449–466 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Halls, J.: A Spatial Sensitivity Analysis of Land Use Characteristics and Phosphorus Levels in Small Tidal Creek Estuaries of North Carolina, USA. Journal of Coastal Research 36, 340–351 (2002)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Helton, J., Burmaster, D.E.: Guest Editorial: treatment of aleatory and epistemic uncertainty in performance assessments for complex systems. Reliability Engineering and System Safety 54, 91–94 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Herwijnen, M.V., Rietveld, P.: Spatial Dimensions in Multicriteria Analysis. In: Thill, J.-C. (ed.) Spatial Multicriteria Decision Making and Analysis A geographic information sciences approach, pp. 77–99. Ashgate, London (1999)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Insua, D.R.: Introduction to Special Issue on Sensitivity Analysis. Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 8, 117–118 (1999)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Insua, D.R., French, S.: A framework for sensitivity analysis in discrete multi-objective decision-making. European Journal of Operational Research 54, 179–190 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jankowski, P.: Integrating Geographical Information Systems and Multiple Criteria Decision-Making Methods. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 9, 251–273 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Jankowski, P., Andrienko, N., Andrienko, G.: Map-centered exploratory approach to multiple criteria spatial decision making. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 15, 101–127 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Jankowski, P., Lotov, A., Gusev, D.: Application of Multiple Criteria Tradeoff Approach to Spatial Decision Making. In: Thill, J.-C. (ed.) Spatial Multicriteria Decision Making and Analysis A geographic information sciences approach, pp. 127–148. Ashgate, London (1999)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Jankowski, P., Nyerges, T.L., Smith, A., Moore, T.J., Horvath, E.: Spatial group choice: a SDSS tool for collaborative spatial decision-making. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 11, 577–602 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Krivoruchko, K., Gotway-Crawford, C.A.: Assessing the Uncertainty Resulting from Geoprocessing Operations. In: Maguire, D., Batty, M., Goodchild, M. (eds.) GIS, Spatial Analysis, and Modeling, pp. 67–92. ESRI Press, Redlands (2005)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Laaribi, A., Chevallier, J.J., Martel, J.M.: A spatial decision aid: a multicriterion evaluation approach. Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems 20, 351–366 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lempert, R.J.: A new decision science for complex systems. In: PNAS, vol. 99, pp. 7309–7313 (2002)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lempert, R.J., Pooper, S.W., Bankes, S.C.: Shaping the Next One Hundred Years New Methods for Quantitative, Long-Term Policy Analysis, The RAND Pardee Center, Santa Monica (2003)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Lodwick, W.A., Monson, W., Svoboda, L.: Attribute error and sensitivity analysis of map operations in geographical information systems: suitability analysis. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 4, 413–428 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Longley, P.A., Goodchild, M.F., Maguire, D.J., Rhind, D.W.: Geographical Information Systems: Principles, Techniques, Management and Applications, 2nd edn. Wiley, New York (2005)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Lowry, J.H., Miller, H.J., Hepner, G.F.: A GIS-Based Sensitivity Analysis of Community Vulnerability to Hazardous Contaminants on the Mexico/U.S. Border. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 61, 1347–1359 (1995)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Malczewski, J.: GIS and Multicriteria Decision Analysis. Wiley, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Malczewski, J.: GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis: a survey of the literature. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 20, 703–726 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Massam, B.: The location of waste transfer stations in Ashdod, Israel, using a multi-criteria Decision Support System. Geoforum 22, 27–37 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Merkhofer, M.W.: Assessment, Refinement, and Narrowing of Options. In: Dale, V.H., English, M.R. (eds.) Tools to Aid Environmental Decision Making, pp. 231–281. Springer, New York (1998)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Nyerges, T.L., Ramsey, K.S., Wilson, M.W.: Design Considerations for an Internet Portal to Support Public Participation in Transportation Improvement Decision Making. In: Dragicevic, S., Balram, S. (eds.) Collaborative GIS, pp. 208–236. Idea Group Inc., Hershey (2006)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Pannell, D.J.: Sensitivity Analysis of normative economic models: theoretical framework and practical strategies. Agricultural Economics 16, 139–152 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Rinner, C., Heppleston, A.: The Spatial Dimensions of Multi-Criteria Evaluation - Case Study of a Home Buyer’s Spatial Decision Support System. In: Raubal, M., Miller, H.J., Frank, A.U., Goodchild, M.F. (eds.) GIScience 2006. LNCS, vol. 4197, pp. 338–352. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Saisana, M., Saltelli, A., Tarantola, S.: Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques as tools for the quality assessment of composite indicators. Journal of Royal Statistical Society A 168, 307–323 (2005)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Saltelli, A., Chan, K., Scott, E.M.: Sensitivity Analysis. Wiley, New York (2000)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Saltelli, A., Tarantola, S., Campolongo, F., Ratto, M.: Sensitivity Analysis in Practice: A Guide to Assessing Scientific Models. Wiley, New York (2004)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Saltelli, A., Tarantola, S., Chan, K.: A Quantitative Model-Independent Method for Global Sensitivity Analysis of Model Output. Technometrics 41, 39–56 (1999a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Saltelli, A., Tarantola, S., Chan, K.: A Role for Sensitivity Analysis in Presenting the Results from MCDA Studies to Decision Makers. Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis 8, 139–145 (1999b)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Simon, H.: The new science of management decision. Harper, New York (1960)Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Talen, E.: Visualizing fairness: Equity maps for planners. Journal of American Planning Association 64, 64–75 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Tarantola, S., Giglioli, N., Jesinghaus, J., Saltelli, A.: Can global sensitivity analysis steer the implementation of models for environmental assessments and decision-making? Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment 16, 63–76 (2002)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Thill, J.C.: GIS and Multiple Criteria Decision Making: A Geographic Information Science Perspective, Ashgate, London (1999)Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Triantaphyllou, E.: Multi-Criteria Decision Making Methods: A Comparative Study. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2000)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Uran, O., Janssen, R.: Why are spatial decision support systems not used? Some experiences from the Netherlands. Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems 27, 511–526 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Voogd, H.: Multicriteria Evaluation for Urban and Regional Planning. Pion Limited, London (1983)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Wolters, W.T.M., Mareschal, B.: Novel types of sensitivity analysis for additive MCDM methods. European Journal of Operational Research 81, 281–290 (1995)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arika Ligmann-Zielinska
    • 1
  • Piotr Jankowski
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

Personalised recommendations