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Information Fusion

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/inffus

Zeshui Xu , Na Zhao

School of Economics and Management, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 211189, China

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:

Received 30 April 2015

Received in revised form 27 June 2015

Accepted 4 July 2015

Available online 11 July 2015

Keywords:

Intuitionistic fuzzy decision making

Information fusion

Attribute weights

Aggregation

Ranking

a b s t r a c t

Intuitionistic fuzzy decision making is to nd the suitable method for ranking alternatives based on the

provided intuitionistic fuzzy information or some related attributes. To date, many studies have focused

on intuitionistic fuzzy decision making problems and various decision making methodologies and

approaches have been proposed. To provide a clear perspective on the information fusion for intuitionistic fuzzy decision making, this paper presents an overview on the existing intuitionistic fuzzy decision

making theories and methods from the perspective of information fusion, involving the determination of

attribute weights, the aggregation of intuitionistic fuzzy information and the ranking of alternatives.

Some potential challenges in future research are meanwhile pointed out. In addition, we provide a survey

of recent applications of the discussed theories and methods in various elds.

2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Decision making is a fairly common activity in peoples daily

life, which can be seen as a process of ranking alternatives or

selecting the best one(s) from multiple alternatives based on the

provided decision information under the given environment. Due

to the complexity of the socioeconomic system, most decision

making problems involve multiple attributes/indices used to

reect the characteristics or performances of candidate alternatives, which we usually call multi-attribute decision making

(MADM) problems. To date, much attention has been paid to

MADM, and many fruitful research results have been achieved

[1]. There are three major families of methods for MADM: (i) The

utility theory based approaches, in which information fusion techniques are often adopted to synthesize the assessment values of

each alternative under different attributes into an overall value,

and then the alternatives are ranked by comparing the overall values. The weighted sum model based on some aggregation operators [2], the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method [3] and the

TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal

Solution) method [4] are three classical methods in this family.

Besides, the method recently developed based upon penalty functions also belongs to this family [5,6]; (ii) The outranking

approaches, which are used to identify whether the considered

alternative is preferable, incomparable or indifferent to the others

over the attributes. There are two main outranking approaches,

which are the ELECTRE (Elimination et Choice Translating

Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 25 84483382.

E-mail addresses: xuzeshui@263.net (Z. Xu), zhaonawfxy@163.com (N. Zhao).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.inffus.2015.07.001

1566-2535/ 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Organization Method for Enrichment Evaluation) method [8]; (iii)

The interactive approach, which allows the decision maker to

interact with the analyst or computer (i.e., manmachine

interactive decision making) to update his/her preferences [9].

With the increasing complexity and uncertainty of socioeconomic

environments and the sharp growth of the amount of knowledge

and information, more and more real-life decision making problems cannot be effectively resolved by a single decision maker

for a persons attention, knowledge and experience are limited.

Accordingly, it is needed to gather multiple decision makers with

different knowledge structures and experience to conduct a group

decision making (GDM). Two processes are necessarily implemented to solve GDM problems: the consensus process and the

selection process [10]. The former aims at reaching the maximum

degree of agreement among the decision makers opinions. The

latter encompasses two phases: the aggregation of individual

opinions into a collective opinion by using an information fusion

technique and the exploitation of the collective opinion for ranking

alternatives.

In decision making, uncertainty is ubiquitous since objective

things are uncertain and complex, and the managing and modelling of uncertain information are vital for the acquisition of desirable solutions. The fuzzy set [11] has been found to be a useful tool

to model peoples imprecise decision information, and lots of fuzzy

decision making methods have been put forward [10,12,13].

However, the fuzzy set only involves the membership degree, but

neglects the hesitation and the indeterminacy often involved in

decision making. For example, in a voting event, there is usually

abstention in addition to support and objection [14]. In order

to fully reect the characteristics of afrmation, negation and hesitation of human cognitive performance, Atanassov [15] extended

the fuzzy set to introduce the intuitionistic fuzzy set (IFS), which

is characterized by a membership function, a non-membership

function and a hesitancy (indeterminacy) function.

As the IFS can express humans imprecise cognitions from the

aspects of afrmation, negation and hesitation, it has been widely

used to describe the imprecise, vague or uncertain preferences of

the decision makers in decision making process. Xu [16] dened

intuitionistic fuzzy numbers (IFNs) (also called intuitionistic fuzzy

values (IFVs) [17,18]) as the basic components of an IFS, and developed a decision making method to help a manufacturing company

to search the best global supplier. In this example, the IFN uij ; v ij

was adopted to evaluate the global supplier Ai , where uij indicates

the degree that the supplier Ai satises the attribute C j ; v ij indicates

the degree that the supplier Ai does not satisfy the attribute C j , and

1 uij v ij indicates the hesitancy degree that the supplier Ai satises the attribute C j . Hernandez and Uddameri [19] applied the

IFNs to the evaluation of agriculture best management practices

in the coastal semi-arid area of South Texas. In this case study, they

used the IFN qi ; ri to evaluate the importance of the attribute C i ,

where qi and ri denote the degrees of membership and

non-membership of the attribute C i to the fuzzy concept importance, respectively. Wan and Dong [20] developed a novel mathematical programming method for hybrid multi-criteria group

decision making, in which the criteria values are expressed by

IFNs, interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy numbers, trapezoidal

fuzzy numbers, linguistic variables, interval numbers and real

numbers. Liu et al. [21] constructed a partial binary tree DEA-DA

cyclic classication model for the decision makers in complex

multi-attribute large group interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy

decision making problems. To depict the preferences of the decision makers for each pair of alternatives comprehensively, Xu

[22] gave a simple notion of intuitionistic fuzzy preference

relations (IFPRs) in which the basic elements are IFNs

uij ; v ij i; j 1; 2; . . . ; n and applied them to evaluate the agroecological regions in Hubei Province, China. Here, uij denotes the

certainty degree to which the agroecological region Ai is preferred

to the agroecological region Aj ; v ij denotes the certainty degree to

which Ai is non-preferred to Aj , and 1 uij v ij is interpreted as

the hesitancy degree to which Ai is preferred to Aj . Paternain

et al. [23] presented a construction method of IFPRs from fuzzy

preference relations and proposed two novel decision making algorithms by generalizing the weighted voting strategy.

Up to now, a large number of studies have been done on the

intuitionistic fuzzy decision making and a variety of decision making methodologies and approaches have been proposed [14,24,25].

Since the fusion and processing of intuitionistic fuzzy information

are very critical for intuitionistic fuzzy decision making, in this

paper, we shall summarize and analyze the current approaches

to intuitionistic fuzzy decision making from the perspective of

information fusion, involving the determination of attribute

weights, the aggregation of intuitionistic fuzzy information and

the ranking of alternatives. Furthermore, we shall introduce in

depth their recent applications in different elds. Towards these

objectives, we set out the remainder of the paper as follows: In

Section 2, we briey introduce some relevant knowledge about

intuitionistic fuzzy decision making. Section 3 provides a review

of the approaches to derive attribute weights from the intuitionistic fuzzy decision information or from both the intuitionistic fuzzy

decision information and the partially known weight information.

In Section 4, we rst survey the orders of IFNs, which are vital for

the ordered aggregation of intuitionistic fuzzy information, and

then survey the aggregation operators of intuitionistic fuzzy information in different situations. In Section 5, we review four main

11

decision contexts. Section 6 lists the recent applications of the discussed approaches in various elds. In the last section, we present

some conclusions.

2. Intuitionistic fuzzy decision making

In 1986, Atanassov [15] introduced the intuitionistic fuzzy set

(IFS) to comprehensively portray the uncertainty of human beings

when providing judgments over the objects.

Denition 1 [15]. Let X be a xed set, then an intuitionistic fuzzy

set (IFS) I on X is dened as:

I fhx; uI x; v I xij x 2 X g

where the functions uI : X ! 0; 1 and v I : X ! 0; 1 ascertain the

membership degree uI x and the non-membership degree v I x of

the element x 2 X to the set I, respectively, with the condition:

uI x v I x 6 1.

Usually, pI x 1 uI x v I x is called the indeterminacy

degree or the hesitancy degree of x to I [17]. a ua ; v a is called

an intuitionistic fuzzy number (IFN) (also called intuitionistic fuzzy

value (IFV) [18]) whose physical interpretation can be presented as

follows: For instance, if ua ; v a 0:5; 0:2, then it can be interpreted as in a presidential election, the vote for a candidate is

50% in favor, 20% against, and 30% abstentions. From the perspective of a voting, the membership degree of an IFS can represent

the approval percentage, the non-membership degree can stand for

the rejection percentage, and the hesitancy degree, reecting the

percentage of voters who are not sure about whether the candidate

is competent as the president, can be regarded as abstention.

During the decision making process, the decision maker is usually required to provide his/her preferences for each pair of alternatives, and then construct a preference relation. Based on the IFNs,

Xu [22] dened an intuitionistic fuzzy preference relation (IFPR)

e e

on the set X fx1 ; x2 ; . . . ; xn g as A

a ij nn , where e

a ij uij ; v ij is

an IFN, for all i; j 1; 2; . . . ; n, and uij denotes the certainty degree

to which the object xi is preferred to the object xj ; v ij denotes the

certainty degree to which xi is non-preferred to xj , and 1 uij v ij

is interpreted as the indeterminacy degree or hesitancy degree to

which xi is preferred to xj . Furthermore, uij and v ij satisfy the conditions: uji v ij ; v ji uij ; uii v ii 0:5, for all i; j 1; 2; . . . ; n.

It is obvious that the IFN is very useful in modeling the uncertainty and vagueness of objective things for it allocates to each element in a universe a membership degree, a non-membership

degree and a hesitancy degree. Accordingly, more and more

researchers have been applying IFNs to describe the imprecise or

uncertain decision information and dealing with the uncertainty

and vagueness in decision making under different situations.

According to the distinct forms of the decision information, the

current intuitionistic fuzzy decision making can be roughly divided

into two types: The rst type is based on the intuitionistic fuzzy

assessment information provided by the decision makers, which

is expressed by IFNs. The second type is based on the IFPRs provided by the decision makers through pair-wise comparisons of

alternatives. In this paper, we mainly focus our attention on the

rst type for we may refer to the review [26] for the second one.

Firstly, we pay attention to the most common intuitionistic

fuzzy MADM (IF-MADM) problems, which can be mathematically

described as follows: In a MADM problem, let A fA1 ; A2 ; . . . ; An g

be a discrete set of n alternatives, C fC 1 ; C 2 ; . . . ; C m g be the discussion universe containing m attributes, and w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm T be

the weight vector of the attributes, where wj denotes the importance degree of the attribute C j . If the assessment of each

12

uij ; v ij , where uij indicates the degree that the alternative Ai satises the attribute C j , and v ij indicates the degree that the alternative

Ai does not satisfy the attribute C j , such that uij ; v ij 2 0; 1 and

uij v ij 6 1 for i 1; 2; . . . ; n; j 1; 2; . . . ; m. Then in this case, the

MADM problem can be referred to as an IF-MADM problem, which

can be concisely expressed by the following matrix:

which can be directly given by the decision maker according to

his/her judgments for the degree to which an alternative satises

an attribute and the degree to which the alternative does not satisfy

the attribute. It is worthwhile to point out that during the process of

decision making, if all attributes C j j 1; 2; . . . ; m are of the same

type, then the intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix does not need

normalization, whereas if there are benet attributes (the bigger

the attribute values the better) and cost attributes (the smaller

the attribute values the better), then in this case, it is necessary to

normalize the intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix D f

dij

into

nm

the intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix M reij nm , where

(

reij

f

dij ; for benefit attribute C j

;

f

dij c ; for cost attribute C j

j 1; 2; . . . ; m

dij c is the complement of f

dij dened as f

dij c v ij ; uij [15].

where f

For convenience, we hereinafter suppose that all intuitionistic fuzzy

decision matrices are normalized without explicitly mentioning

them. In general, the weight information of attributes is in one of

the following cases:

(1) The weight information is completely unknown owing to

time pressure or the complexity and uncertainty of the considered problem [27].

(2) The weight information is partially known due to the inherent subjective nature of human thinking. In this case, the

known weight information H can be expressed by the following forms [28] for i j:

Form 1. A weak ranking: wi P wj ;

Form 2. A strict ranking: wi wj P di di > 0;

Form 3. A ranking with multiples: wi P di wj 0 6 di 6 1;

Form 4. An interval form: fdi 6 wi 6 di ei g0 6 di 6 di

ei 6 1;

Form 5. A ranking of differences: wi wj P wk wl , for

j k l.

(3) The weight information is completely known. The weights

wj j 1; 2; . . . ; m of the attributes C j j 1; 2; . . . ; m are

assigned in advance by the decision maker according to

his/her expertise and experience, which is usually needed

to satisfy the normalization conditions: wj 2 0; 1 j 1;

P

2; . . . ; m and m

j1 wj 1.

In the IF-MADM problems, all the intuitionistic fuzzy assessment information is provided in the same time period or at the

same stage. Nevertheless, in many practical situations, such as

multi-period investment decision making, medical diagnosis, personnel dynamic examination, and military system efciency

dynamic evaluation, the assessment information is usually

provided in different time periods [14]. As a result, the intuitionistic fuzzy dynamic MADM (IF-DMADM) problems were introduced

[29], which can be depicted by the following notations:

(1) A; C and w are dened as above;

(2) t t1 ; t2 ; . . . ; tp is the set of p time periods, whose weight

T

vector is wt wt 1 ; wt2 ; . . . ; w tp , where wtk 2

Pp

0; 1 k 1; 2; . . . ; p and k1 wt k 1;

(3) Mtl reij t l nm is the intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix

provided in the time period tl l 1; 2; . . . ; p. Here,

reij tl uij t l ; v ij t l is an IFN, where uij t l indicates the

degree to which the alternative Ai satises the attribute C j

in the period tl , and v ij t l indicates the degree to which

the alternative Ai does not satisfy the attribute C j in the period tl , with uij t l ; v ij t l 2 0; 1 and uij t l v ij t l 6 1 for

i 1; 2; . . . ; n; j 1; 2; . . . ; m.

The aforementioned intuitionistic fuzzy decision making problems involve only one decision maker. However, the increasing complexity of socioeconomic environments makes it more and more

difcult for a single decision maker to consider all aspects of a problem and then make a reasonable decision [30]. Accordingly, it is

required to conduct a GDM. An intuitionistic fuzzy multi-attribute

group decision making (IF-MAGDM) problem encompasses a group

of decision makers fd1 ; d2 ; . . . ; ds g whose importance weight vector

P

is k k1 ; k2 ; . . . ; ks T with kk 2 0; 1k 1; 2; . . . ; s and sk1 ks 1,

and a collection of intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrices

n

o

f

k

k 1; 2; . . . ; s are

M1 ; M 2 ; . . . ; M s , where M k r ij

nm

f

k

k

k

rij uij ; v ij i 1; 2; . . . ; n; j 1; 2; . . . ; m; k 1; 2; . . . ; s being

the intuitionistic fuzzy assessment values of the alternatives

Ai i 1; 2; . . . ; n under the attributes C j j 1; 2; . . . ; m.

3. Attribute weight derivation approaches

To solve the IF-MADM problems with completely unknown or

partially known weight information on attributes, the rst thing

we usually need to do is to determine the weights of attributes

according to the provided information on the decision problem

to be solved. Clearly, for the rst case, we can only resort to the

given intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix to obtain the attribute

weights, whereas for the second case, we can also make use of

the known weight information. To date, different attribute weight

derivation methods have been put forward. In the following, let us

briey outline these methods.

3.1. Methods for deriving attribute weights only from intuitionistic

fuzzy decision matrix

3.1.1. The entropy-based method

This method is based on the entropy measures of IFSs, which

are used to measure the uncertainty associated with IFSs. In this

method, the basic principle of determining weights for attributes

is that the smaller the entropy value of the intuitionistic fuzzy

assessment information of alternatives under an attribute, the bigger the weight should be assigned to the attribute; otherwise, the

smaller the weight should be assigned to the attribute. In terms of

this principle, the attribute weights can be determined as follows

[31]:

Model 1

wj

1 Ej

P

;

m m

j1 Ej

j 1; 2; . . . ; m

13

Ai ; uij ; v ij Ai 2 A

P

dened as Ej E Ij 1n ni1 1 uij v ij for j 1; 2; . . . ; m.

Obviously, besides the entropy measure E, we may resort to

other entropy formulas in Model 1. (For the entropy measures of

IFSs, please refer to Ref. [32].) To observe the ranking outcomes

of the attribute weights generated by applying different entropy

measures of IFSs, Chen and Li [33] conducted a computational

experiment with simulation data, which illustrates that the rankings of the attribute weights are not only affected by the adopted

entropy measures for IFSs, but also affected by the number of attributes and the number of alternatives.

3.1.2. The deviation-based method

In this method, the basic principle of determining weights for

attributes is that the more similar the intuitionistic fuzzy assessment values of all alternatives with respect to an attribute, the

smaller the weight should be allocated to the attribute; otherwise,

the bigger the weight should be allocated to the attribute. Based on

this principle, the following nonlinear programming model was

established [27], whose objective is to maximize all the deviation

values of intuitionistic fuzzy assessment values of all alternatives

under all attributes:

Model 2

Max

m X

n X

X

d reij ; rf

kj wj

m

X

w2j 1;

wj P 0;

Pn P

e f

ki d r ij ; r kj

i1

wj q

Pm Pn P

e f 2

j1

i1

ki d r ij ; r kj

j1

wj P 0;

j1

j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j1

model can be transformed into a single objective optimization

model:

Model 3

Min f w

m X

n

X

2

w2j d reij ; f

r j

j1 i1

m

X

wj 1;

s:t:

wj P 0;

j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j1

wj 0

@

Pm

j1

Pn

1

d2

reij ; re

j

1

1

P

2

n

A

rj

reij ; f

i1 d

j 1; 2; . . . ; m

where d reij ; rf

is the distance between reij and rf

kj

kj dened as

1

d reij ; rf

kj 2 uij ukj v ij v kj .

By constructing the Lagrange function, we obtain

Max

j1

m

X

wj 1;

s:t:

r

h

i

2

12 uij 1 v 2ij .

r

where for i 1; 2; . . . ; n; j 1; 2; . . . ; m, d reij ; f

j

j1

Model 4

Min f w

m

m

m

X

X

X

2

2

2

f

f

f

;

;...;

w2j d rf

w2j d rf

w2j d rf

1j ; r j

2j ; r j

nj ; r j

i1

j1 i1 ki

s:t:

each alternative and the IFPIS, the better the alternative, Xu [34]

established the following multiple-objective programming model:

This method is based on the consistency and inconsistency

indices of the decision maker, which are dened based on the preferences between alternatives given by the decision maker. The

main idea of this method is to maximize the consistency index of

the decision maker under the condition that the consistency index

should be greater than the inconsistency index. In light of this idea,

the following linear programming model was constructed [36]:

kki

k;i2X

8P

h

i

P

m

>

u2ij u2kj v 2ij v 2kj p2ij p2kj 2 uij ukj 2 v ij v kj

>

k;i2X

j1 wj

>

>

>

Pm

P

P

P

>

>

>

m

j1 v j k;i2X 2 uij ukj 4 v ij v kj P 2h;

>

j1 uj

k;i2X 4 uij ukj 2 v ij v kj

>

>

h

i

>

P

Pm

>

>

>

u2kj u2ij v 2kj v 2ij p2kj p2ij 2 ukj uij 2 v kj v ij

>

j1 wj

k;i2X

>

< P

Pm

P

P

m

j1 v j k;i2X 2 ukj uij 4 v kj v ij 2kki P 0; k; i 2 X;

s:t:

k;i2X 4 ukj uij 2 v kj v ij

j1 uj

>

>

> kki P 0; k; i 2 X;

>

>

>

>

> u ; v P 0; u v 6 w ; j 1; 2; . . . ; m;

>

j

j

j

j

j

>

>

>

> w P e; j 1; 2; . . . ; m;

>

j

>

>

>

: Pm w 1

j1

Pn P

d reij ; rf

kj

wj Pm i1

Pn ki

P

e f

ki d r ij ; r kj

j1

i1

In such a case, we have wj 2 0; 1 for j 1; 2; . . . ; m, and

Pm

j1 wj 1.

3.1.3. The ideal-solution-based method

This method is based on the intuitionistic fuzzy positive ideal

f

solution (IFPIS) A f

with f

r

r

for

1 ; r2 ; . . . ; rm

j 1; 0

fk; ijAi Ak ; k; i 1; 2; . . . ; ng is the pairwise comparison preference relations of alternatives given by the decision maker. Here,

Ai Ak means that either the decision maker prefers the alternative Ak to Ai or the decision maker is indifferent between Ai and Ak .

3.1.5. The group consensus-based method

This method is suitable for the group decision making situations. The main idea of this method is to maximize the group consensus, based on which the following nonlinear optimization

model was developed [37]:

14

0

!2

s X

m X

n

s

X

X

l

@ uk

Min

k

u

l ij

ij

Model 5

k1 j1 i1

k

ij

s

X

l

kl v ij

l1

s

X

k

l

kl pij

pij

!2

1<p62

and

m

X

s:t:

wj 1; wj P 0; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

CE reij ; relj

j1

sion makers with kk 2 0; 1 for k 1; 2; . . . ; s, and sk1 ks 1, and

f

k

k

k

for i 1; 2; . . . ; n; j 1; 2; . . . ; m, rij uij ; v ij is the intuitionistic

Ps Pn

k1

wj

Ps

k1

i1

Ps

k

u

ij

l

ku

l1 l ij

v k

ij

Ps

l1

kl v

l

ij

2

Ps

pk

ij

l1

p

lj

!p

p

ij

2

p

lj

p p

2

!p

p

ij

p p

v pij v plj

p

lj

2

!p )

1<p62

kl p

l

ij

2

2

2

2

P

P

P

k

l

k

l

k

l

uij sl1 kl uij

v ij sl1 kl v ij

pij sl1 kl pij

i1

weights according to both the intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix

and the known weight information.

3.2.1. The entropy-valued method

This method is based on the intuitionistic fuzzy entropy measures, which are used to describe the fuzziness and intuitionism

of IFSs. Considering that the greater the entropy value, the more

uncertain the decision information, Wu and Zhang [38] developed

the following programming model, which aims at minimizing the

entropy values of the intuitionistic fuzzy assessment information

of all alternatives under all attributes:

Model 6

Min Ew

i1 j1

j1

where g is a small positive real number, and E reij is the

1

dened

by

E reij pij ln 2

reij

entropy

value

of

h

i

u

v

uij ln u ijv v ij ln u ijv .

ij

ij

attributes, based on which the following linear programming

model was developed [40]:

Model 8

Max Dw

j1 i1 k1

s:t: w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm T 2 H;

m

X

wj 1; wj P 0; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j1

rf

for i; k 1; 2; . . . ; n,

kj ukj ; v kj

i k; j 1; 2; . . . ; m, and d reij ; rf

kj is the distance between reij and

1

f

rf

kj dened as d reij ; r

kj 2 uij ukj v ij v kj .

where

reij uij ; v ij

ij

j1 i1

n

1 X

CE reij ; relj

n 1 l1

and

(IFPIS) and the intuitionistic fuzzy negative ideal solution (IFNIS),

respectively. Then, based on the idea of TOPSIS method [4] that

the chosen alternative should have the shortest distance from

the IFPIS and the farthest distance from the IFNIS, the following

multi-objective optimization model was developed [41]:

Model 9

attributes. Xia and Xu [39] proposed the following model to determine the attribute weights by using the intuitionistic fuzzy

entropy and cross entropy measures:

m X

n

X

Max Ew

wj 1 E reij

m X

n X

n

X

d reij ; rf

kj wj

f

with f

r

r

Xu [41] suggested A f

1 ; r2 ; . . . ; rm

j 1; 0 for

f

j 1; 2; . . . ; m, and A f

for

r1 ; f

r2 ; . . . ; rf

r

with

m

j 0; 1

n X

m

X

wj E reij

s:t: w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm T 2 H;

m

X

wj 1; wj P g; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

Model 7

p

ij

upij uplj

Pn

weight information

ij

12

1p

This method is based on the distance measures of IFSs. The main

idea of this method is to maximize all the deviation values of

2

( p

uij uplj

provided by the decision maker dk .

By constructing the Lagrange function, we derive

j1

l1

!2 1

Aw2

l1

Pm

(

p

p )

p

1 uij 1 v ij

2 uij v ij

;

2

2

1 21p

E reij 1

s:t: w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm T 2 H;

m

X

wj 1; wj P 0; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j1

where E reij is the entropy value of reij and CE reij ; relj is the cross

entropy between reij and relj , dened as:

s:t: w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm T 2 H;

m

X

wj 1; wj P 0; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j1

Here,

qzi w

where

dzi w; z w

dzi w; z w dzi w; z w

zi w

P

m

j1 wj uij ;

Pm

j1 wj

v ij

for

1

i 1; 2; . . . ; n; z w

1

for

IFNs dened as d reij ; rf

kj 2 uij ukj v ij v kj pij pkj

reij uij ; v ij and rf

kj ukj ; v kj .

15

can be transformed into a single objective optimization model:

Model 10

Max

n

X

j1 wj uij v ij

Pm

1 j1 wj v ij

Pm

i1

s:t: w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm 2 H;

m

X

wj 1; wj P 0; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j1

A re1 ; re2 ; . . . ; rf

with

rej

m

e

e

f

maxi uij ; mini v ij for j 1; 2; . . . ; m and A r 1 ; r 2 ; . . . ; rm with

rej mini uij ; maxi v ij for j 1; 2; . . . ; m as the IFPIS and the

Wei

[42]

considered

should have the largest degree of grey relation from the IFPIS

and the smallest degree of grey relation from the IFNIS, the following single objective optimization model was constructed [42]:

Model 11

n X

m

X

Min

nij nij wj

i1 j1

s:t: w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm T 2 H;

m

X

wj 1; wj P 0; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j1

where

min16i6n min16j6m d reij ; rej 0:5max16i6n max16j6m d reij ; rej

nij

and

d reij ; rej 0:5max16i6n max16j6m d reij ; rej

min16i6n min16j6m d reij ; rej 0:5max16i6n max16j6m d reij ; rej

nij

d reij ; re 0:5max16i6n max16j6m d reij ; re

j

The main idea of this method is to maximize the overall score

value of each alternative, based on which the following optimization model was developed [16]:

Max si w

m

X

wj sij

j1

s:t: w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm T 2 H;

m

X

wj 1; wj P 0; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j1

where sij uij v ij is the score of reij uij ; v ij .

By solving Model 12, we can get the optimal solution

T

i

i

i

i

corresponding to the alternative Ai . In

w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm

general, in the process of determining the attribute weight vector,

it is required to consider all alternatives as a whole. Therefore, a

combined weight vector can be constructed [16]:

w x1 w1 x2

2 1

2

w1

w1

6 1

2

6w

w2

6 2

6

..

6 ..

4 .

.

1

wm

where,

wm

wm

w1

w2

..

.

wm

3

n

w1

n 7

w2 7

7

.. 7

..

7

. 5

.

n

wm

T

matrix ST W

ST W ; S sij nm with sij uij v ij is the score

matrix of the intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix M uij ; v ij nm .

For the case in which the known weight information is

expressed by interval forms, i.e., for j 1; 2; . . . ; m; dj 6

wj 6 dj ej , where 0 6 dj 6 dj ej 6 1, Li [43] constructed the following linear programming model:

Max zi

m

X

bij wj

j1

8

>

< uij 6 bij 6 1 v ij ; i 1; 2; . . . ; n;

dj 6 wj 6 dj ej ; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

s:t:

>

: Pm w 1

j

j1

j 1; 2; . . . ; m

P

for each i 1; 2; . . . ; n. Here, Li [43] assumed that m

j1 dj 6 1 and

Pm

d

e

P

1

in

order

to

nd

the

weights

w

2

0;

1 satisfying

j

j

j

j1

Pm

dj 6 wj 6 dj ej and

w

1.

Then,

he

transformed

the above

j

j1

model into the following form:

Model 13

Max z

(

s:t:

n X

m

X

1 uij v ij wj =n

i1 j1

dj 6 wj 6 dj ej ;

Pm

j1 wj 1

j 1; 2; . . . ; m

are the grey relational coefcients of each alternative from IFPIS and

IFNIS, respectively, d is the distance measure between IFNs dened

1

and

as d reij ; rf

for reij uij ; v ij

kj 2 uij ukj v ij v kj

rf

u

;

v

,

for

i

1;

2;

.

.

.

;

n;

j

1;

2;

.

.

.

;

m.

kj

kj

kj

Model 12

w1

6 1

6w

6 2

W 6

6 ..

4 .

1

w2 . . . xn wn

3

1

n 0

w1

x1

7

n B

x2 C

w2 7

C

7B

B . C Wx

7

C

..

.. 7B

.

.

. 5@ . A

n

wm

xn

In many real decision making processes, a decision maker often

needs to interact with group members by providing and modifying

his/her preference information gradually. Xu [41] proposed the following interactive process, which is realized by revising the satisfactory degrees of alternatives until an optimum satisfactory

solution is achieved.

Firstly, based on Model 9, the following optimization model was

constructed [41]:

Max s

8

>

< qzi w P s; i 1; 2; . . . ; n

w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm T 2 H

s:t:

>

: Pm

wj P 0; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j1 wj 1;

where s mini qzi w, and qzi w is dened as Eq. (1). From the

above model, the original optimal weight vector w0

T

0

0

0

w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm

can be got, and then the corresponding satis 0

faction degree q zi w

of the alternative Ai can be calculated

by Eq. (1). In the course of decision making, the decision maker

0

degree of the alternative Ai i 1; 2; . . . ; n according to

q zi w0 i 1; 2; . . . ; n. Then, the following optimization model

was developed [41]:

Model 14

Max

n

X

si

i1

8

0

>

>

< qzi w P si P si ; i 1; 2; . . . ; n

s:t:

w w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm T 2 H

>

>

: Pm w 1; w P 0; j 1; 2; . . . ; m

j

j

j1

16

T

t

t

t

from which the weight vector wt w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm

can be

t

derived, and then the corresponding satisfaction degree q zi w

of the alternative Ai can be calculated by Eq. (1). In this case, if

the decision maker is satised with the result, then we end the

interactive process and the nal weight vector is wt

T

t

t

t

w1 ; w2 ; . . . ; wm ; otherwise, the decision maker needs to recont1

t P 1; i 1; 2; . . . ; n of the satisfaction

sider the lower bound si

degrees of the alternatives Ai i 1; 2; . . . ; n until the optimal solution is obtained, and let t : t 1 and return to Model 14.

To facilitate the reading and comparison, the abovementioned

attribute weight determination models are summarized in Table 1.

In the above, we have overviewed the existing main methods to

derive attribute weights from the intuitionistic fuzzy decision

information or from both the intuitionistic fuzzy decision information and the partially known weight information. However, different methods have different characteristics. For example, as we can

see, Models 1, 6 and 7 all involve the entropy measures of intuitionistic fuzzy information. The entropy measure used in Model

1 only captures the intuitionism, while the one used in Model 7

considers not only the intuitionism, but also the fuzziness of an

IFN. Furthermore, it is worth noting that when the IFN 0; 0 is

involved in Model 6, it is meaningless. Models 2, 3, 8, 9, 11 and

14 all involve the distance measures of intuitionistic fuzzy information. The distance measures used in Models 2, 3, 8 and 11 only

consider the membership degree information and the

non-membership degree information and omit the hesitancy

degree information of IFNs, whereas the ones used in Models 9

results of various attribute weight determination approaches have

been presented in Table 1, different approaches have different

advantages and drawbacks. The existing studies do not make sufcient comparisons among these approaches. Therefore, in future

research, it is necessary to conduct a detailed comparative study

to adequately evaluate and compare the advantages and drawbacks of different attribute weight determination approaches or

to develop some software tools to carry out the evaluation and

comparison in order to provide the decision making practitioners

some references to nd out which ones are more suitable for the

problem to be solved.

4. Intuitionistic fuzzy aggregation techniques

After determining the weights of attributes, the next thing we

usually do in solving the IF-MADM problems is to select a suitable

information fusion tool to incorporate the intuitionistic fuzzy decision information and the attribute weight information. Considering

that the orders of IFNs play an important role in the ordered aggregation of intuitionistic fuzzy information, we rst conduct a survey

on the orders of IFNs.

4.1. Orders of intuitionistic fuzzy information

The orders of IFNs can be roughly divided into two categories.

The rst category is dened just by a function from which we

can calculate a value for any IFN and then compare the IFNs

Table 1

Different attribute weight determination models for intuitionistic fuzzy decision making.

Based-information

Models

Papers

Based-techniques

Optimization models

Characteristics

Intuitionistic fuzzy

decision information

Model 1

Ye [31]

Entropy measure

Model 2

Xu [27]

Distance measure

Model 3

Xu [34]

Distance measure

Model 4

Li et al. [36]

Distance measure

Model 5

Simple additive

weighting method

different rankings of attribute weights

Focusing on the divergence between

alternatives

Only considering the IFPIS, but neglecting

the IFNIS

Considering the decision makers pairwise

comparison preference for alternatives

Suitable for group decision making

Model 6

Entropy measure

Model 7

entropy measures

Model 8

Wei [40]

Distance measure

Model 10

Xu [41]

Distance measure

Model 11

Wei [42]

Grey relational

coefcient

Model 12

Xu [16]

Score function

Model 13

Li [43]

Simple additive

weighting method

Model 14

Xu [41]

Distance measure,

interactive mechanism

Intuitionistic fuzzy

decision information,

partially known

weight information

Note: denotes that there is no optimization models involved in the discussed model.

attributes

Considering both the entropy information

of attributes and the divergence between

alternatives

Generating a loss of information when

zero is involved in the process of

aggregation

Considering the distance of each

alternative to the IFPIS and the IFNIS

simultaneously

Considering the degrees of grey relation of

each alternative from the IFPIS and the

IFNIS simultaneously

The intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix is

transformed into a real-valued decision

matrix, which may lose some original

information

The known weight information is

expressed by interval forms; The

intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix is

transformed into an interval-valued

decision matrix, which may lose some

original information

Allowing the decision maker to modify the

lower bounds of satisfaction degrees of

alternatives

according to the values. Chen and Tan [44] rstly developed a score

function for the IFN a ua ; v a : sa ua v a . Obviously, the

score of a is directly related to the deviation between ua and v a ,

and the bigger the score of a, the larger the IFN a is. However,

Chen and Tans score function cannot efciently compare the

IFNs with the same score. Therefore, a series of modied score

functions have been subsequently put forward. Chen [45] provided

a comparative analysis of different score functions.

The second category is dened by means of two functions. The

most famous one of this category is Xu and Yager [17]s order

dened by adding the accuracy function [46], shown as follows:

Denition 2 [17]. Let ai uai ; v ai ; i 1; 2 be two IFNs,

sai uai v ai be the score of ai , and hai uai v ai be the

accuracy degree of ai , then

(1) If sa1 < sa2 , then a1 is smaller than a2 , denoted by

a1 XY a2 .

(2) If sa1 sa2 , then

information, denoted by a1 XY a2 .

a1 XY a2 .

a2 XY a1 .

From Denition 2, we see that for two IFNs, if the score function

cannot differentiate them, the accuracy function is considered as

the second criterion, i.e., the more accuracy an IFN, the larger the

IFN is. Moreover, let XY XY [ XY , then we have

_ ua1 v a1 ua2 v a2 ^ ua1 v a1 6 ua2 v a2

where ai uai ; v ai ; i 1; 2.

Bustince et al. [47] claimed that the order XY is an admissible

order, i.e., XY is a linear order and for any two IFNs a1 and a2 , if

a1 62 a2 , then it holds that a1 XY a2 . Here,

the partial order 62 is

a1 62 a2 () ua1 6 ua2 ^ v a1 P v a2 ,

where

dened

as

ai uai ; v ai ; i 1; 2. Furthermore, motivated by the lexicographical order of points, Bustince et al. [47] presented the following two

admissible orders:

a1 Lex2 a2 () v a1 > v a2 _ v a1 v a2 ^ ua1 6 ua2

where ai uai ; v ai ; i 1; 2. Additionally, Bustince et al. [47] and

Miguel et al. [48] investigated the methods of constructing admissible orders in terms of two aggregation functions. The important

roles of admissible orders in different aspects, such as in the construction of the ordered weighted aggregation operators [49,50]

and in the selection of alternatives in decision making [50,51], were

also investigated.

4.2. Aggregation operators for intuitionistic fuzzy information

At present, a lot of studies have focused on the aggregation of

intuitionistic fuzzy information, and a variety of aggregation operators have been developed. Since the operational laws of IFNs are

very vital for the denition of aggregation operators for intuitionistic fuzzy information, we here rst introduce the existing main

operational laws of IFNs.

Given three IFNs a ua ; v a ; a1 ua1 ; v a1 and a2 ua2 ; v a2 ,

some basic operations developed by Xu and Yager [17,18] are presented as follows:

17

(1) a1 ^ a2 minfua1 ; ua2 g; maxfv a1 ; v a2 g ,

(2) a1 _ a2 maxfua1 ; ua2 g; minfv a1 ; v a2 g ,

(3) a1 a2 ua1 ua2 ua1 ua2 ; v a1 v a2 ,

(4) ka 1 1 ua k ; v ka ; k > 0,

(5) a1
a2 ua1 ua2 ; v a1 v a2 v a1 v a2 ,

(6) ak uka ; 1 1 v a k ; k > 0.

Later, based on Archimedean t-norm and t-conorm [52],

Beliakov et al. [53] dened the generalized sum and the generalized multiplication as:

(7) a1 a2 Sua1 ; ua2 ; Tv a1 ; v a2

1

h hua1 hua2 ; g 1 gv a1 gv a2 ,

1

(8) ka h khua ; g 1 kgv a ; k > 0,

where the function T is an Archimedean t-norm and the function S

is an Archimedean t-conorm. Klir and Yuan [52] pointed out that an

additive generator of a continuous Archimedean t-norm is a strictly

decreasing function g : 0; 1 ! 0; 1, such that g1 0. Here,

ht g1 t.

Based on the operational laws (5) and (6), Xia et al. [54] dened

the following generalized forms:

(9) a1
a2 Tua1 ; ua2 ; Sv a1 ; v a2

1

g 1 gua1 gua2 ; h hv a1 hv a2 ,

1

(10) ak g 1 kgua ; h khv a ; k > 0.

It can be noted that let gt logt, then the operational laws

(7)(10) become (3)(6) accordingly.

Xia and Xu [55] found that the above operations are only based

on the original information, and thus cannot reduce the uncertainty of the aggregated IFNs. Hence, they introduced some point

aggregation operators to reduce the uncertainty degree of IFNs,

which is necessary in some situations [56]:

(11)

(12)

(13)

(14)

(15)

(16)

(17)

(18)

Dja a ua ja pa ; v a 1 ja pa ,

F ja ;ka a ua ja pa ; v a ka pa , where ja ka 6 1,

Hja ;ka a ja ua ; v a ka pa ,

Hja ;ka a ja ua ; v a ka 1 ja ua v a ,

J ja ;ka a ua ja pa ; ka v a ,

J ja ;ka a ua ja 1 ua ka v a ; ka v a ,

P ja ;ka a maxja ; ua ; minka ; v a , where ja ka 6 1,

Q ja ;ka a minja ; ua ; maxka ; v a , where ja ka 6 1,

where ja ; ka 2 0; 1.

Let a1 ua1 ; v a1 with ua1 0 and a2 ua2 ; v a2 with ua2 0,

then by the operation (5), we can get ua1
a2 0, which illustrates

that ua2 is not accounted for at all. He et al. [57] noted that it is

an undesirable feature for an averaging operation, and dened

some new operational laws by considering the interactions

between the membership functions and the non-membership

functions of different IFSs:

1 v a1 1 v a2 1 ua1 v a1

1 ua2 v a2 ; 1 1 v a1 1 v a2 ,

(20) ak 1 v a k 1 ua v a k ; 1 1 v a k ; k > 0.

^ a2

(19) a1

expressed by IFNs, Li and He [58] dened the following new operational laws:

18

(21) ka 1 1 ua r ; v a1q ,

q

r

(22) ak u1

a ; 1 1 v a ,

where k r; q is an IFN.

Based upon the above-mentioned operations on IFNs, a large

number of aggregation operators have been developed for fusing

the intuitionistic fuzzy information. From the viewpoint of the relationships between the aggregated IFNs, the existing aggregation

operators for intuitionistic fuzzy information are mainly classied

into four categories: the ones for aggregating the independent

IFNs, the ones for aggregating the correlative IFNs, the ones for

aggregating the IFNs when the attributes are in different priority

levels, and the ones for aggregating the IFNs in different time periods. For the convenience of reading and understanding, we summarize the existing main aggregation operators for intuitionistic fuzzy

information in Table 2.

It can be seen from Table 2 that a variety of aggregation operators

have been designed for fusing the intuitionistic fuzzy information in

different situations. In the following, we discuss their characteristics

and relationships. Among the aggregation operators for the independent IFNs, the IFWA, IFWG, IFOWA, IFOWG, IFHWA, IFHWG, GIFWA,

GIFOWA, GIFHWA, ATS-IFWA and ATS-IFWG operators possess the

desirable properties of idempotency, boundedness, and monotonicity, while the IFHA, IFHG and GIFHA operators do not satisfy some

basic properties such as idempotency and boundedness. Moreover,

from the ATS-IFWA and ATS-IFWG operators, some known operators

can be derived, such as the IFWA, IFWG, EIFWA and EIFWG operators [69]. The GIFPWA, GIFPOWA and GIFPHA operators can reduce

the uncertainty of the aggregated IFNs, which is necessary in some

intuitionistic fuzzy decision situations [56]. Additionally, the

IFWGIA, IFOWGIA and IFHGIA operators take into account of the

interactions between the non-membership degrees and the membership degrees of different IFNs.

IFCA and IFCG operators consider not only the importance of the

aggregated IFNs or their ordered positions but also the correlations

of the IFNs or their ordered positions. The weighting vectors of the

IFPWA and IFPWG operators depend upon the aggregated IFNs and

allow the IFNs to support and reinforce each other. Furthermore,

although the WIFBM, GIFWBGM and IFWGBM are all developed

based on the Bonferroni mean [81] and capable of capturing the

expressed interrelationship of the aggregated IFNs, the WIFBM

can only model the situation where there exist correlations

between any two aggregated IFNs, but not the situation where

there exist connections among any three aggregated IFNs, and it

cannot reduce to the IFBM [75] when the weights of the aggregated

IFNs are the same. The GIFWBGM overcomes the drawbacks of the

WIFBM, while it just considers the whole geometric correlation of

any three aggregated IFNs and cannot reect the interrelationship

between the individual IFN and other IFNs. The IFWGBM avoids all

these shortcomings. In addition, it should be noted that the

Bonferroni mean or the Heronian mean based intuitionistic fuzzy

aggregation operators focus on the aggregated IFNs, while the

Choquet integral or the power average based intuitionistic fuzzy

aggregation operators focus on changing the weighting vector of

the aggregation operator. The correlations of the aggregated IFNs

in the Choquet integral or the Bonferroni mean or the Heronian

mean based the intuitionistic fuzzy aggregation operators are

determined subjectively by the decision makers, while the power

average based the intuitionistic fuzzy aggregation operators

determine the weighting vector by means of the aggregated IFNs

objectively.

Although there are several series of aggregation operators for

fusing the intuitionistic fuzzy decision information when the attributes are in different priority levels and each can well model the

prioritization relationship among the attributes by means of the

priority weights determined by the satisfaction of the attributes

Table 2

Various aggregation operators for intuitionistic fuzzy information.

Relationships between the

aggregated IFNs

Operators

Based-operations

Based-operators

Similar studies

Independent

operator [18], IFHWA operator [59]

GIFWA operator [60], GIFOWA operator [60],

GIFHA operator [60], GIFHWA operator [59]

IFWG operator [17], IFOWG operator [17], IFHG

operator [17], IFHWG operator [59]

ATS-IFWA operator [54]

ATS-IFWG operator [54]

GIFPWA operator [55], GIFPOWA operator [55],

GIFPHA operator [55]

IFWGIA operator [57], IFOWGIA operator [57],

IFHGIA operator [57]

(3), (4)

WA operator [61]

Yager [66]

WG operator [62]

Li [67]

(5), (6)

(7), (8)

(9), (10)

(11)(18)

HWA operator [2]

GWA operator [60]

Su et al. [70]

Yang and Chen [71]

(19), (20)

IFCG operator [73]

IFPWA operator [74]

IFPWG operator [74]

WIFBM [75], GIFWBGM [76], IFWGBM [77]

IFGWHM operator [78]

(3)

(5)

(3), (4)

(5), (6)

(3)(6)

(3)(6)

IFPWA operator [89]

IFPWG operator [89]

GIFPWG operator [90]

PIFA operator [91]

IFPRI-OR operator [58]

IFPRI-AND operator [58]

(3), (4)

(3), (4)

(5), (6)

(9), (10)

(1), (2), (3), (5)

(21)

(22)

PA operator [93]

Prioritized and operator [93]

DIFWG [94]

(3), (4)

(5), (6)

IFWG operator [17]

Correlative

Bonferroni mean [81]

Heronian mean [82]

Wu et al. [83]

Tan and Chen [84]

Zhou et al. [85]

Zhang [86]

Beliakov and James [87]

weights in the IFPOWA, IFPWA, IFPWG and GIFPWG operators

are all real numbers, while those in the PIFA, IFPRI-AND and

IFPRI-OR operators are all expressed by IFNs, which can reect

the intuitionistic fuzzy characteristic of the IF-MADM problems.

Moreover, in the IFPOWA, IFPWA, IFPWG and GIFPWG operators,

the given intuitionistic fuzzy decision information is not fully utilized during the process of inducing the priority weights and just

transformed into single real numbers by the score function, which

leads to the distortion and loss of original decision information,

and may further result in the unreasonable decision results.

In the above, we have provided an overview on the aggregation

techniques for intuitionistic fuzzy information, based on which we

now point out several critical comments and new directions for

future research:

(1) Various operational laws for IFNs have been dened, based

on which a large number of aggregation operators have been

subsequently developed for intuitionistic fuzzy information.

However, there is usually not a specic interpretation when

dening a new operational law for IFNs. Some of them are

provided just for the denitions of some intuitionistic fuzzy

aggregation operators subsequently. Hence, it is expected to

give some interpretations, such as some geometrical interpretations, to explain the meaning of each operation on IFNs.

(2) A great number of aggregation operators have been developed for aggregating the rst three types of intuitionistic

fuzzy information, however, only several aggregation operators have been designed to aggregate the intuitionistic fuzzy

information in different time periods, which are very

common in real-life decision making problems. More new

aggregation operators should be developed. Furthermore,

since different operators in the same category have different

advantages and disadvantages, it is very hard for the decision making practitioners to select the suitable aggregation

operator in practical decision making.

(3) In decision making, it is sometimes needed to select, from a

given set of aggregation operators, the one that provides the

output least dissimilar to all the inputs [5,6]. In such cases,

we may consider applying the concept of penalty function

to the intuitionistic fuzzy setting to assist the decision

makers to select the most suitable aggregation operator.

(4) Many aggregation operators are dened just by generalizing

some classical aggregation operators and may be not dened

from the practical application point of view. Accordingly, it

is required to conduct a clear justication analysis of the real

usefulness.

19

for j 1; 2; . . . ; m, and A re1 ; re2 ; . . . ; rf

with rej mini uij ;

m

maxi v ij for j 1; 2; . . . ; m, as the IFPIS and the IFNIS, respectively.

f

r

r

However, Li [43] suggested A f

with f

1 ; r2 ; . . . ; rm

j 1; 0

f

for j 1; 2; . . . ; m, and A f

r1 ; f

r 2 ; . . . ; rf

r

0; 1 for

with

m

j

j 1; 2; . . . ; m, as the IFPIS and the IFNIS, respectively. In the

TOPSIS based method, the best alternative should simultaneously

have the shortest distance from the IFPIS and the farthest distance

from the IFNIS, which states that this method is suitable for the cautious decision makers who want to have a decision which not only

makes as much prot as possible, but also avoids as much risk as possible [98]. To cope with the situations where the decision makers

want to have maximum prot and do not care for the decision risk

too much, the VIKOR method was extended to the intuitionistic

fuzzy context[99,100] for solving the problems with conicting

and noncommensurable attributes by mutual concessions. In the

TOPSIS-based and VIKOR-based methods, the weight vector of attributes is known a priori, and the IFPIS and the IFNIS are derived from

the intuitionistic fuzzy decision matrix directly. Nonetheless, sometimes, the weight vector of attributes is unknown a priori. Hence,

some researchers have extended the LINMAP method to the intuitionistic fuzzy environment and developed the IF-LINMAP method

[36,101], in which the IFPIS and the weights of attributes are

estimated by using a linear programming model, and the best compromise alternative is the feasible one with the shortest distance to

the IFPIS.

5.2. The outranking-based approach

The second category is the outranking based method, which is

used to identify which alternative is preferable, incomparable or

indifferent by a pairwise comparison of alternatives over each

attribute. Currently, the existing outranking based methods for

intuitionistic fuzzy decision making are mainly designed on the

basis of the classical outranking methods, such as the ELECTRE

(Elimination et Choice Translating Reality) method [7] and the

PROMETHEE (Preference Ranking Organization Method for

Enrichment Evaluation) method [8]. For example, Wu and Chen

[102] and Vahdani et al. [103] extended the ELECTRE method [7]

to solve the IF-MADM and IF-MAGDM problems in which the attribute weights are expressed by real numbers or IFNs, respectively.

The extended ELECTRE methods analyze the outranking relations

among alternatives by dening the concordance and discordance

indices. Liao and Xu [104] put forward the intuitionistic fuzzy

PROMETHEE method to solve the IF-MADM problem with intuitionistic fuzzy weights, which derives a partial or complete ranking of alternatives based upon the positive outranking ow, the

negative outranking ow and the net outranking ow.

In this section, we review the main approaches for ranking

alternatives under the intuitionistic fuzzy decision scenarios,

which are concluded into the following four categories.

5.1. The ideal solution-based approach

The rst category is to rank the alternatives by means of the idea

solution, which is mainly developed on the basis of some

well-known ranking methods, such as the TOPSIS (Technique for

Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) method [4], the

LINMAP (Linear programming technique for Multidimensional

Analysis of Preference) method [95] and the VIKOR

(VlseKriter-ijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje) method

[96]. In order to extend the TOPSIS method successfully, Chen and

Tsao [97] dened A re1 ; re2 ; . . . ; rf

with rej maxi uij ; mini v ij

m

The main idea of this method is that it allows the decision

maker to interact with group members (or analysts) in the process

of decision making by revising or supplementing the original information on the decision making problem. Recently, Su et al. [105]

introduced an interactive model for intuitionistic fuzzy dynamic

multi-attribute group decision making (IF-DMAGDM) based on

the DIFWA operator [29] and the intuitionistic fuzzy TOPSIS

method [97], in which the assessments of the decision makers

for alternatives are allowed to be revised when the consensus of

the group is not satisfactory. Xu [41] developed a satisfaction

degree based intuitionistic fuzzy interactive method, which permits the decision maker to modify the lower bounds of the satisfaction degrees of alternatives if he/she is not satised with the

yielded decision results. Later, Xu and Xia [106] presented another

20

alternatives, which updates the decision makers preferences for

weight information gradually until the optimal alternative is

found.

5.4. The psychological behavior-based approach

The last category takes account of the decision makers psychological behavior in the decision making process, which thinks that

important inuence on the nal decision results. Chen [107,108]

related the decision-makers optimistic and pessimistic attitudes

to the IF-MADM by developing the optimistic and pessimistic point

operators and establishing a unipolar bivariate model, respectively.

Chen and Yang [109] reected the risk attitude of the decision

maker by means of a new class of decision functions, which are

developed based on the mean-variance type utility functions in

the nancial risk management. Recently, Krohling et al. [110]

Table 3

Different alternative ranking approaches for intuitionistic fuzzy decision making.

Categories

Methods

Papers

Based-techniques

IFPIS

IFNIS

Application

scopes

TOPSIS-based method

Boran et al. [112]

Li [43]

Xu [113]

Wei [42]

Li [101]

Li et al. [36]

Vahdani et al. [99]

Park et al. [100]

Xu [34]

Xu and Hu [114]

Ye [31]

Wang and Zhang [115]

Distance measure

Distance measure

Distance measure

Similarity measure

Grey relational coefcient

Distance measure

Distance measure

Distance measure

Distance measure

Distance measure

Projection model

Correlation coefcient

Evidential reasoning algorithms, distance

measure

A

A

A

A

A

unknown

unknown

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

MADM

MAGDM

MADM

MADM

MADM

MADM

MAGDM

MADM

DMADM

MADM

MADM

MADM

MADM

Distance measure

MADM

Liao and Xu [104]

Distance measure

Distance measure

MAGDM

MADM

Interactive approach

Su et al. [105]

Xu [41]

Modifying the lower bounds of satisfaction

degrees of alternatives

Updating the preferences for attribute weights

A

A

A

A

DMAGDM

MADM

MADM

Psychological behavior-based

approach

Chen [107]

Chen [108]

Chen and Yang [109]

Unipolar bivariate model

Decision functions developed by meanvariance type utility functions

TODIM method [111]

MADM

MADM

MADM

MADM

LINMAP-based

method

VIKOR-based method

Other methods

Outranking-based approach

ELECTRE-based

method

PROMETHEE-based

method

Note: denotes that the listed information is not involved in the discussed method.

Table 4

Applications in different elds.

Fields

Applications

Papers

Based-means

Logistic management

Ashayeri et al. [117]

Chai et al. [118]

Devi and Yadav [120]

Boran [121]

Liu et al. [122]

Zhang et al. [123]

Chang et al. [124]

IFCA operator [72]

SIR method [119]

ELECTRE-based method [102]

TOPSIS-based method [97]

IFCA operator [72]

Comparison method of IFSs [123]

Arithmetic operations [15]

Location selection

Strategy selection

Job-Shop scheduling

Failure analysis

Resource management

Water resources management

Sustainable energy management

Human resources management

Hernandez and Uddameri [19]

Boran et al. [126]

Zhang and Liu [127]

Boran et al. [129]

Simple additive weighting method [43]

TOPSIS-based method [97]

GRA [128], Entropy-based method [31]

IFWA operator [18], TOPSIS-based method [97]

Evaluations

Web quality

Intellectual capital

Value evaluation

Network security evaluation

Performance evaluation

Teaching evaluation

Information system evaluation

Wang [130]

Zhao [132]

Zhang et al. [133]

Li et al. [134]

Zhang [135]

Fan [136]

Cui and Xu [137]

IFWA operator [18]

IFWA and IFHA operators [18]

IFWA operator [18]

Entropy-based method [31]

IFEWA operator [69]

IFCG operator [73]

Predictions

Sentiment prediction

Wang et al. [139]

I-IFOWA operator [140]

and multi-criteria decision making) method [111] to the intuitionistic fuzzy context and proposed the intuitionistic fuzzy TODIM

method, which represents the decision makers behavioral characteristics such as the loss aversion by the prospect value function.

To facilitate the reading and comparison, we summarize some

representative studies on the four ranking methods in Table 3.

From Table 3, it can be observed that lots of approaches have

been developed for ranking alternatives within the intuitionistic

fuzzy decision contexts, and each approach has its own characteristic. As a result, it is difcult for the decision making practitioners

to select the suitable approach in real decision making. Therefore,

it is required to make sufcient comparisons among these

approaches to present the advantages and disadvantages of each

approach fully in order to render some references for the decision

making practitioners to nd out the most suitable approach.

Moreover, it can be also seen from Table 3 that many approaches

apply the distance measures of IFSs into the process of ranking

alternatives. As there are numerous distance measures of IFSs

[116], it is necessary to conduct an investigation on the issues that

in each of these ranking approaches, whether all distance measures

of IFSs are applicable and which ones perform better in ranking

alternatives.

6. Recent applications

Up to now, we have overviewed the main processes in the intuitionistic fuzzy decision making: deriving attribute weight vector,

aggregating intuitionistic fuzzy decision information and ranking

candidate alternatives, and surveyed some relevant solution

approaches in depth. According to some representative application

papers, in this section, we review recent applications of these

approaches in different elds, including logistic management,

resource management, evaluation, and prediction, etc. To improve

readability, we summarize these applications in Table 4.

From Table 4, it can be seen that compared with the huge number of theoretical studies, there are relatively few works concerning the applications of the intuitionistic fuzzy decision making

approaches. At present, a few decision making approaches have

been adopted to solve practical problems and most of them have

not been applied in practice. The applications of more theoretical

approaches to real-word problems should be investigated.

Furthermore, researchers have mainly applied the existing intuitionistic fuzzy decision making approaches to the elds of logistic

management, resource management, evaluation, and prediction.

Applications in other practical elds should also be explored.

7. Conclusions

Intuitionistic fuzzy decision making, which addresses the problems of ranking alternatives based on the given intuitionistic fuzzy

decision information or several concerned attributes, has received

great attention in recent years, and various decision making

methodologies and approaches have been put forward. In this

paper, we have reviewed the existing main approaches to intuitionistic fuzzy decision making from the perspective of information fusion. Firstly, we have reviewed and analyzed the current

approaches for deriving attribute weights from the intuitionistic

fuzzy decision information or from both the intuitionistic fuzzy

decision information and the partially known weight information.

Then, we have surveyed the orders of IFNs, which play an important role in the ordered aggregation of intuitionistic fuzzy information, and overviewed the existing main aggregation operators for

intuitionistic fuzzy information in different situations. Moreover,

the main approaches for ranking alternatives based upon the

21

and analyzed, which can be divided into four categories: the ideal

solution-based approach, the outranking-based approach, the

interactive approach and the psychological behavior-based

approach. Finally, to show the applicability of the discussed

approaches, we have outlined their recent applications in different

elds.

Acknowledgements

The work was supported by the National Natural Science

Foundation of China (No. 61273209), the Fundamental Research

Funds for the Central Universities (No. KYLX_0207) and the

Scientic Research Foundation of Graduate School of Southeast

University (No. YBJJ1527).

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