Decision Theory

Decision Theory

  • Mohamad Amin Kaviani added an answer:
    Fuzzy decision making, Intuitionistic Fuzzy decision making or Grey decision making method- which one is more applicable?

    I was thinking about the different decision making methods under certain and uncertain conditions. My specific question is that:

    As you know, we have many MCDM tools like AHP- ANP- TOPSIS- VIKOR- PROMOTEE- MOORA- SIR and many other methods and all of them have been developed to fuzzy, type-2 fuzzy, intuitionistic fuzzy and Grey environments. But when we deal with uncertainty, we actually do not know which one of the aforementioned conditions is more appropriate. Which one really more applicable under uncertain situation? fuzzy ? type-2 fuzzy? Intuitionistic fuzzy? or Grey environment for a decision making method?

    All the ideas and comments are appreciated. Hope that all of the experts take an action to this question by following or leaving their valuable comments. 

    Mohamad Amin Kaviani · Islamic Azad University Shiraz branch

    Dear colleagues, 

    I am so happy that my question has been taken into your considerations. I think the subject of this question can push out the frontier of uncertain decision making researches and is a challenging topic.

  • Jorge Lopez-Cifre added an answer:
    Does anyone know of a quick way to create the illusion of free agency in an experimental setting?

    I need a quick way to get participants to think/act as if they have made their own choice, while actually have their choice correspond to their assigned condition. In other words, I am looking for a way to get them to "choose" their assigned condition. 

    I am considering offering multiple choices (out of 4) and telling them that their choice has to match a random selection in order for the task to begin. But wondering if there is a better, more efficient way to do this.

    Jorge Lopez-Cifre · Universidad Camilo José Cela

    In marketing there is a trick called the "Decoy Pricing" that makes you choose one specific product out of three options... Maybe you could adapt it for your experiment.

  • Marco Egle added an answer:
    What is the best way for building an individual discounting function for testing each subject's discounting utility rate?

    In intertemporal choice paradigms, I would like to build a discount utility function for each participant in my study based on a couple of intertemporal decisions performed by each participant. Is there any software that can easily perform such calculations? 

    Is matlab the most appropriate software for doing this?

    Marco Egle · University of Groningen

    that's a nice idea

    Thank you!!

  • Elisa Battistoni added an answer:
    How to get a limit matrix from weighted supermatrix in ANP(Analytical Network Process) ?

    I have a weighted supermatrix and I am trying to convert it into a limit matrix.

    Weighted supermatrix can be transformed into the limit supermatrix
    by raising itself to powers until the matrix converges

    How it can be performed ?

    Elisa Battistoni · University of Rome Tor Vergata

    The weighted supermatrix comes out from the combination of the unweighted supermatrix and the control hierarchy. The latter scores the priority of a cluster over all the clusters to which it is connected: therefore, the control hierarchy is an n*n matrix, with n=number of clusters in the network. To build the control hierarchy matrix, first of all you choose a cluster Ci. Then, all other clusters connected with Ci are pairwise compared (with AHP) to determine their impact on Ci; their weights are listed in the control hierarchy matrix. For all the clusters that are not connected to Ci the corresponding element in the control hierarchy is set to 0.

    Now, all elements in the block corresponding to the intersection between cluster Ci and cluster Cj in the unweighted supermatrix can be multiplied by the weight of Ci over Cj listed in the control hierarchy matrix. In this way, you can obtain your weighted supermatrix.

  • Seyed Mohamad Mohsen Emamat added an answer:
    In Analytical Hierarchy Process Is there a way to justify CR>0.1?

    I conducted AHP using 3 pairwise comparisons. Unfortunately the CR comes out as 0.302. A balanced scale using principal eigen vectors also results in a CR of 0.22. Is there any way to be able to move forward with these results?

    Seyed Mohamad Mohsen Emamat · University of Tehran

    I think, that level of inconsistency is not acceptable

  • Ibsen Chivatá Cárdenas added an answer:
    What is the best method for decision making under uncertainty?
    • Stochastic techniques
    • Robust optimization 
    • Fuzzy methods
    • Information Gap Decision Theory
    • Z-number
    Ibsen Chivatá Cárdenas · Universiteit Twente

    Another paper addressing your question is the following:

    Lempert, R. J., & Collins, M. T. (2007). Managing the risk of uncertain threshold responses: comparison of robust, optimum, and precautionary approaches. Risk analysis, 27(4), 1009-1026.

  • Devendra Swami added an answer:
    Does anyone have an example of a query used to consult experts in the aim of the Analytic Hierarchy Process?

    The Analytic Hierarchy Process - AHP (Saaty 1980) is a multicriteria tool considered to be relevant to nearly any ecosystem management application that requires the evaluation of multiple participants or complex decision-making processes are involved (Schmoldt & Peterson 1997, Schmoldt et al. 2001, Reynolds & Hessburg 2005).

    A need to consult an example of a form used to be filled by experts in a given area of knowledge in order to perform a pairwise comparison between environmental criteria that are useful to define the soil suitability of a region (e.g., soils, slope, aspect, clima,...). Two factors are compared using the rating scale which ranges from 1 to 9 with respect to their relative importance. Than we obtain the weights for each criteria that will be used in the map algebra.

    Devendra Swami · Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

    How to generate questionnaire from dot ahp file using expert choice software to word??

  • Sanjay Kumar added an answer:
    Is the AHP a linear or a nonlinear method?
    The Saaty rating scale is rather nonlinear, but aggregation approach is definitely linear. Is the AHP a linear or a nonlinear method? I think it is a linear method (e.g. Zarghami and Szidarovszky).
    Zarghami M. and Szidarovszky F. (2011). Multicriteria Analysis, Springer, pp. 33-39.
    Sanjay Kumar · IITM, MURTHAL

    I also agree that It is nonlinear.

  • Ransalu Senanayake added an answer:
    Can anyone recommend some good references in Bayesian analysis and decision making?

    I am looking for some top and mathematical references in Bayesian analysis and Bayesian decision making. Books and Tutorial articles mostly. Thank you

    Ransalu Senanayake · University of Sydney

    The following are more Bayesian-biased.

    Machine Learning by Kevin Murphy

    Pattern Analysis and Machine Learning by Christoper Bishop

  • Sarfaraz Hashemkhani Zolfani added an answer:
    What is the reliability of TOPSIS technique?

    I have used AHP, TOPSIS and Fuzzy TOPSIS in my research work. I would like to know the reliability of TOPSIS and its variations.

    Sarfaraz Hashemkhani Zolfani · Amirkabir University of Technology

    There are many methods but in Opricovic and Tzeng in 2004 you can see VIKOR is a better method for ranking instead of TOPSIS. You may prefer read and learn other new methods like: SWARA (2010), COPRAS (1996), ARAS (2010), WASPAS (2012), BWM (2015) etc. 

  • Senthil Kumar d added an answer:
    Is there a difference between multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) and multi-attribute decision making (MADM)?
    Are MCDM and MADM synonyms? What are the differences?
    Senthil Kumar d · Anna University of Technology, Tiruchirappalli

    multi attribute decision making is differs from multi objective decision making, because in data mining attribute selection is one of the objective. That is based on different objective we have to take final decision in data mining.

  • Marion G Ceruti added an answer:
    How can one factor irrationality in decision theory ?

    In hypothesis testing we use linear parameters. I am trying to work on factoring irrationality by using non linear modeling. I would like to factor the effect of correlation of the cause  variable in the result.

    Is this possible ? Is there any papers on this ? 

    Marion G Ceruti · Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific

    Probabilities for predicting markets are difficult for an ordinary individual to know. Too many variables influence markets, including manipulation.

    In decision making, rationality is subjective to a certain extent. If we have a set of decision criteria, a decision within that framework may appear to others as irrational if they are operating with different criteria. Examples can come from risk/reward scenarios.

    Consider the following problem. Two drugs are used to treat intense pain. One drug has a high probability of providing a moderate decrease in pain, which still leaves some residual pain that interferes with normal abilities. No one dies from using it. A second drug provides a dramatic reduction in pain to almost normal (zero) levels but proves fatal to 1% of the population that uses it. Which drug choice constitutes the rational decision? It depends on your decision criteria. Whereas it is true that one cannot predict exact individual outcome from analyzing data obtained in past studies, one can use published probabilities if they exist. Suppose you want to maximize the probability of living and are willing to live in a debilitated state. If this is the most important decision criterion, select drug A. If, however, you would not like to live in such a condition and would rather try for a better life, and this is the most important criterion, select drug B. Each of the decisions appears to be irrational when applying the opposite criterion. However, the decisions are rational given the criteria used.

    To consider another example, what constitutes a rational decision can depend on habits and experience. A decision about what to do in an emergency situation may seem rational to a novice who may be more likely to be influenced by emotions. However, to a person with more expertise, the same decision may appear to be irrational because the expert has more knowledge and experience and is aware of more options.

    Hope this helps.

  • Raivis Skadiņš added an answer:
    How can I induct a decision tree from text data ?

    Hello, I have a large corpus of product reviews given by customers, especially on mobile phones. I have done a topic modeling on this data so that the topics are extracted. I need to get aspects such as Camera, Sound, Price etc from this data. Can I use decision tree induction to classify the topics into aspects ? Is there any tools available for the same or do I need to classify manually ? Please help in this regard.

    Raivis Skadiņš · Tilde Company

    Hi, this looks like normal machine learning issue.

    You need to define features which are somehow related to your aspects. Features can be something like - "how many times word CAMERA is nentined in the article" etc.. Then you label training data set with both features and aspects. Then you can build decision tree classifier which assignes aspect depending on features. You can use or other tool.

    Finally you can classify new data.

  • Sergey V. Popov added an answer:
    What are the common group tasks that people use in experiments?

    Does anyone know what are the common group tasks that people use in their experiments? Tasks where performance can be easily evaluated objectively? I found in literature Michigan State University Distributed Dynamic Decision Making (MSU-DDD), but could not find the modified version for research. Does anyone have this game or know other games that I can use in research? Thanks!

    Sergey V. Popov · Queen's University Belfast

    I was thinking about doing an experiment in teamwork efficiency, and the only thing that came to my mind is jigsaw puzzle solving: how much faster would a team of 2 solve the given 300-piece puzzle against team of 3, or something. You need something that is easy to parallelize, but that would require some interaction. My suspicion is that the good teamwork games would also be the games where individual effort is hard to quantify...

  • Carlos R. B. Azevedo added an answer:
    Are the decision-theoretic accounts of Preference for Flexibility and Freedom of Choice being applied outside economics?
    The first axiomatic accounts of preference for flexibility and freedom of choice are due to Koopmans (1962) and Kreps (1979), who assumed that a Decision Maker always enjoys having more alternatives available. After that, e.g. Puppe (1996) refined the idea and distinguished the essential alternatives in an opportunity set as those whose exclusion “would reduce an agent’s freedom”.

    Most applications I know of consider social choice problems that are relevant to economics theory. What other fields have seen applications of those concepts? I'm particularly interested in corporate decision-making and engineering design.


    T. C. Koopmans, “On flexibility of future preference,” Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 150, 1962.

    D. M. Kreps, “A representation theorem for ”preference for flexibility”,”
    Econometrica, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. pp. 565–577, 1979

    C. Puppe, “An Axiomatic Approach to 'Preference for Freedom
    of Choice'” Journal of Economic Theory, vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 174–
    199, January 1996
    Carlos R. B. Azevedo · Ericsson

    @Alejandro, those are great examples. Thanks.

  • Harald C Traue added an answer:
    How were ethically relevant cognitive biases within the test population controlled?

    The test population was self-selected from a sub-population (the Amazon Mechanical Turk subscriber base) which is significantly unrepresentative of the US population generally (which is itself highly heterogeneous). According to Wikipedia(for what it's worth) "Overall, the US MTurk population is mostly female and white, and is somewhat younger and more educated than the US population overall." Your test populations were, however, generally less than 50% female (just over that in study 2) and there were some significant screening tests applied, including such things as attentional deficits, rapid test completion and so on, which excluded high proportions of respondents (up to around 25% in study 3). I may be mistaken but I didn't notice any discussion of measures to control for culturally/socially/educationally normative cognitive biases that may skew the responses of such selectively filtered sub-populations compared to a more representative sample?

    In addition, while I can understand the purpose of the screening was probably  to facilitate selection of a test population of intentional responders, rapid response may not be negatively correlated with intentionality. It may reflect a previously well-considered ethical framework, or a cognitive bias derived from religious or other convictions, and there are other possibilities.

    Two other factors I would have thought may have been considered significant, especially in light of the work of Kohlberg and latterly Gilligan, are age and gender. Was any consideration given to these factors?

    (Edited to improve readability).

  • Alan Hawk added an answer:
    Does a formal definition for "Freedom of action" exist?

    The reason for my question is that so many other terms in the defence refer to the "Freedom of Action". [Please see for example: ADP 3–0, Unified Land Operations]

    Alan Hawk · United States Department of Defense

    Try the DOD Dictionary at url

    Try The Joint Electronic Library at url

    JP 3-0 Joint Operations (11 Aug 2011) at url describes Freedom of Action as:.

    "The JFC must maintain freedom of action throughout the operation. Of necessity, freedom of action must extend beyond the JFC’s operational area. For example, operational reach—the distance and duration across which a joint force can successfully employ military capabilities—can extend far beyond the limits of a JFC’s JOA and is inextricably tied to lines of operation (LOOs). So the joint force must protect LOOs to ensure freedom of action. Likewise, the C2 and intelligence functions depend on operations within cyberspace. Losing the capability to operate effectively in cyberspace can greatly diminish the JFC’s freedom of action. While various actions (such as computer network defense [CND] and the consideration of branches to current operations) contribute individually to freedom of action, operational design and joint operation planning are the processes that coherently link these actions. Thus the JFC and staff must consider freedom of action from the outset of operational design and must be alert to indicators during operations that freedom of action is in jeopardy."

  • Gan Huang added an answer:
    Trust model based on Bayes Estimation using Matlab codes?

    I am researching the trust model in WSNs and doing the emulation for the model.I can't find some matlab codes about the reputation-based framework for sensor networks(RFSN).It uses  a Bayesian formulation and a beta contribution.Could you help me?

    Gan Huang · Anhui

    Excuse me,sir.Could you say clearly?I don't understand.

  • Ehsan Chitsaz added an answer:
    Can anyone recommend a behavioral test or questionnaire to determine the pessimistic trait effects on cognitive bias like overestimation?

    I am planning to conduct research on competitive traits and its effect on competitive states. I would appreciate if someone could recommend me some instrument to evaluate pessimistic trait and cognitive bias consequences. Thank you in advance

    Ehsan Chitsaz · Harbin Institute of Technology


    Thanks for your answer, Could you please share with me the English version of your questionnaire in overconfidence bias? 

    About Wiklund et al(2010), I think you have uploaded a wrong file. Could you please send the file that mentioned in your answer.

    Unfortunately, China don't have a same database to exchange. But for next research we can consider about collecting data on that topic in China. At the moment,my research is about the threat in shadow and its consequences on innovation and firm performance.  

  • Thomas Kron added an answer:
    Except for the Frame Selection Theory of Esser and Kroneberg, are there any other attempts of unifying Schütz' Theory and Decision Theory?

    I'm looking for theories or models which try to combine or to unify the theory of Alfred Schütz with common theories of explaining action via decision models like Rational Choice or Bounded Rationality models. The Frame Selection Theory of Hartmut Esser and Clemens Kroneberg is well known to me but I wonder whether there are similar but independent attempts.

    Thomas Kron · RWTH Aachen University

    Of Course there are other attempts of combining framing analysis and decision theory (e.g. Uwe Schmink or my own work). The question is, if they really do "unifying" Schütz with decision theory - I don't think so...

  • Danilo Rastovic added an answer:
    What are some good function approximation methods using fuzzy sets and logic such as fuzzy expert systems, fuzzy SVR, etc.?
    I have a project on function approximation by fuzzy decision trees and I want to compare my results with some other methods improved by fuzzy logic.
    Danilo Rastovic · -

    It will be good use the notice that the maximum of entropy product is equivalent to maximum entropy principle because of the properties of ln functions.

  • Henrique Rego Monteiro da Hora added an answer:
    Do you know any free softwares for Electre Family methods?
    Please let me know of all free softwares you know about Electre methods.
    Henrique Rego Monteiro da Hora · Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia Fluminense (IFF)

    These methods can be implemented in an excel sheet. Maybe you can find at google "electre filetype:xls" "electre filetype:xlsx" or "electre filetype:ods"

  • Jerald Feinstein added an answer:
    How do you assess a value function based on a set of features (attributes, criteria) which are preference-dependent?
    One of the tenets of multiattribute value theory is that each attribute (criterion) must be preferencial independent from each other. There are however specific cases where this assumption do not hold. In these cases, one can proceed by building a value function based on the set of attributes that are preference dependent. For instance, the visual quality of a forest depends on attributes as the size of the trees, the density of the forest stand, the diversity of species, and the diversity of distinct heights. There are preference dependencies among these attributes. How can I assess a value function for the objective "maximize the visual quality of a forest" based on these attributes?
    Jerald Feinstein · DeVry University
    You might want to look at the Analytic Hierarchy Process - - - a Google search will more than get you started. // jlf
  • Paul M.W. Hackett added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest reading material on case-based decision theory?
    Does anybody have any suggestions for what I should read about in connection with case-based decision theory? This is a totally new area to me and any information about the theory would be much appreciated.
    Paul M.W. Hackett · Emerson College
    Thanks Fabrizio.
  • Muhamed Kudic added an answer:
    What is the formal difference between the player and the agent in game theory?
    I am considering the relation between a player and his agent or agents in definition of the game.
  • Renato Cerceau added an answer:
    What MCDM methods can be used when the criteria are incomparable?
    I am looking for the methods like ELECTRE IV or MAXIMIN, and for papers where the problem of the criteriaincomparability is considered.
  • David John Butler added an answer:
    Are there prisoner's dilemma experiments which are truly one-shot?
    I'm looking for data from prisoner's dilemma experiments in which participants played only one round of the game. A closely related experiment, which I found, is Goeree, Holt and Laury (J Pub Econ 2002) where participants play ten one-shot games without feedback between games (hence, no learning effects).
    David John Butler · Murdoch University
  • Mark A Mandel added an answer:
    Can you solve the necktie paradox?
    Alice & Bob enter a game where each have a necktie and they call an independent judge to decide who has the better looking necktie.

    The judge takes the better necktie and awards it to the other player. Alice reasons that entering the game is advantageous: although there is a possible maximal loss of one necktie, the potential winning state is two neckties with one that is judged superior. However, the apparent paradox is that Bob can follow the same reasoning, therefore how can the game be simultaneously advantageous to both players?

    How can we resolve this dilemma? What are the implications and applications?

    [Historical note: I did not invent this question. It was first stated in 1930 by the Belgian mathematician Maurice Kraitchik.]
    Mark A Mandel · University of Pennsylvania
    @Andrew Greentree, thanks for this explanation, but I don't see that it addresses my point. You worked out the values and concluded, "Clearly they cannot both gain by switching!" But I never said they could.

    • @Erwin Amman said (of his version):
    — Paradox: Both could increase their expected value by switching. (What's wrong with this argument?)
    • I said:
    — both could also *decrease* their expected value by switching. The chance (risk) of loss exactly balances the chance (hope?) of gain.

    I think the flaw in both your reasoning is *the assumption that they already have some of the money under consideration*. But they don't, not until at least one of them has made their choice and opened their envelope (or the allotment is judged to have been decided for some other reason). Even the one with the smaller amount will enjoy a net gain *with respect to their present holdings*. They are both going to receive a bequest of some size, whether they trade envelopes or not, and each of them will wind up richer than they were before.

    * not Mark; I'm not in this game! :-)

    Mike's* net expectable gain across the possibilities is
    (2*M) / 2 + (M/2) / 2 = (5/4) * M
    The same is true for Susan, of course. So total expectable gain across the possible outcomes *is the same for both players*, and there is no paradox. Maybe there's a formal sense of "paradox" here that I'm not getting, but this is how I see it.

About Decision Theory

A theoretical technique utilizing a group of related constructs to describe or prescribe how individuals or groups of people choose a course of action when faced with several alternatives and a variable amount of knowledge about the determinants of the outcomes of those alternatives.

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