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Measuring systems sustainability with multi-criteria methods: A critical review

L Diaz-Balteiro, J. González-Pachón and C. Romero

European Journal of Operational Research, 2017, vol. 258, issue 2, 607-616

Abstract: Determining the sustainability of a system (e.g. through a criteria and indicators approach) has been the focus of research in many branches of science. Frequently, this research used multiple criteria decision making techniques. In this work, we analyze and critically assess the literature published on these topics. For this purpose, a set of 271 papers appearing in the ISI Web of Science database has been studied. The results show that these techniques have been applied to a great variety of problems, levels, and sectors, related to sustainability. Thus, up to 15 multiple criteria decision making techniques, which have been applied in 4 or more papers, have been identified. Those techniques have been grouped in 5 large clusters; the two most used being those called Analytic Hierarchical Process and Weighted Arithmetic Mean. On the other hand, in this work it has been verified that the use of multiple criteria decision making techniques hybridized with group decision-making techniques is quite common, and the use of both techniques for assessing sustainability problems has risen over the last few years. The aim of this hybridization process consists of including in the analysis the preferences of the stakeholders with respect to the indicators initially suggested. Finally, it has been seen that during the past few years there has been a great proliferation of works aggregating sustainability criteria by using this type of tool, which is undoubtedly a sign of the paramount importance of these techniques in this highly pluridisciplinary context.

Keywords: Multiple criteria analysis; Criteria; Indicators; Aggregation; Sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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European Journal of Operational Research is currently edited by Roman Slowinski, Jesus Artalejo, Jean-Charles. Billaut, Robert Dyson and Lorenzo Peccati

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:258:y:2017:i:2:p:607-616