The Pros and Cons of Using Pros and Cons for Multi-Criteria Evaluation and Decision Making
22 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2010
Date Written: October 26, 2009
Many methods have been proposed for helping with multi-criteria evaluations and decisions. This paper discusses one very simple method – the idea of evaluating objects by comparing them with a base object, and assessing their Pros And Cons On (one or more) Common Scales (of value), summarised by the acronym PACOCS. If the objects in question are the alternatives in a decision, PACOCS can be used to assist decision makers choose the best option. The paper argues that, in many contexts, PACOCS is closer to common sense and its rationale more transparent and user-friendly than other approaches to multi-criteria problems based on weighted sum functions and “even swaps”, despite broad similarities in mathematical terms. This additional transparency is of particular potential importance in the many situations where people untrained in decision analysis have to make multi-criteria decisions.
Keywords: Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis, Decision Analysis, SMARTS, Even Swaps, Value Function
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