Linguistic Multi-Criteria Group Decision-Making Method Combining Cloud Model and Evidence Theory

Jian ZHOU  Chong HAN  Lijuan SUN  Fu XIAO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E102-D   No.4   pp.845-855
Publication Date: 2019/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2018EDP7288
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Office Information Systems, e-Business Modeling
MCGDM,  linguistic,  uncertainty,  cloud model,  evidence theory,  

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The linguistic Multi-Criteria Group Decision-Making (MCGDM) problem involves various types of uncertainties. To deal with this problem, a new linguistic MCGDM method combining cloud model and evidence theory is thus proposed. Cloud model is firstly used to handle the fuzziness and randomness of the linguistic concept, by taking both the average level and fluctuation degree of the linguistic concept into consideration. Hence, a method is presented to transform linguistic variables into clouds, and then an asymmetrical weighted synthetic cloud is proposed to aggregate the clouds of decision makers on each criterion. Moreover, evidence theory is used to handle the imprecision and incompleteness of the group assessment, with the belief degree and the ignorance degree. Hence, the conversion from the cloud to the belief degree is investigated, and then the evidential reasoning algorithm is adopted to aggregate the criteria values. Finally, the average utility is applied to rank the alternatives. A numerical example, which is given to confirm the validity and feasibility, also shows that the proposed method can take advantage of cloud model and evidence theory to efficiently deal with the uncertainties caused by both the linguistic concept and group assessment.