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Applied Computational Intelligence and Soft Computing
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 536492, 14 pages
Research Article

Identification of a Multicriteria Decision-Making Model Using the Characteristic Objects Method

Department of Artificial Intelligence Methods and Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Ulica Żołnierska 49, 71-210 Szczecin, Poland

Received 6 May 2014; Revised 2 November 2014; Accepted 2 November 2014; Published 27 November 2014

Academic Editor: Sebastian Ventura

Copyright © 2014 Andrzej Piegat and Wojciech Sałabun. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a new, nonlinear, multicriteria, decision-making method: the characteristic objects (COMET). This approach, which can be characterized as a fuzzy reference model, determines a measurement standard for decision-making problems. This model is distinguished by a constant set of specially chosen characteristic objects that are independent of the alternatives. After identifying a multicriteria model, this method can be used to compare any number of decisional objects (alternatives) and select the best one. In the COMET, in contrast to other methods, the rank-reversal phenomenon is not observed. Rank-reversal is a paradoxical feature in the decision-making methods, which is caused by determining the absolute evaluations of considered alternatives on the basis of the alternatives themselves. In the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method and similar methods, when a new alternative is added to the original alternative set, the evaluation base and the resulting evaluations of all objects change. A great advantage of the COMET is its ability to identify not only linear but also nonlinear multicriteria models of decision makers. This identification is based not on a ranking of component criteria of the multicriterion but on a ranking of a larger set of characteristic objects (characteristic alternatives) that are independent of the small set of alternatives analyzed in a given problem. As a result, the COMET is free of the faults of other methods.