Advances in Decision Sciences
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 276584, 24 pages
Review Article

State-of-the-Art Prescriptive Criteria Weight Elicitation

Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Forum 100, 164 40 Kista, Sweden

Received 24 March 2012; Revised 24 October 2012; Accepted 13 November 2012

Academic Editor: Graham Wood

Copyright © 2012 Mona Riabacke et al. 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.


Comparatively few of the vast amounts of decision analytical methods suggested have been widely spread in actual practice. Some approaches have nevertheless been more successful in this respect than others. Quantitative decision making has moved from the study of decision theory founded on a single criterion towards decision support for more realistic decision-making situations with multiple, often conflicting, criteria. Furthermore, the identified gap between normative and descriptive theories seems to suggest a shift to more prescriptive approaches. However, when decision analysis applications are used to aid prescriptive decision-making processes, additional demands are put on these applications to adapt to the users and the context. In particular, the issue of weight elicitation is crucial. There are several techniques for deriving criteria weights from preference statements. This is a cognitively demanding task, subject to different biases, and the elicited values can be heavily dependent on the method of assessment. There have been a number of methods suggested for assessing criteria weights, but these methods have properties which impact their applicability in practice. This paper provides a survey of state-of-the-art weight elicitation methods in a prescriptive setting.