Serafim Opricovic &
Gwo-Hshiung Tzeng talks with ScienceWatch.com and
answers a few questions about this month's Emerging
Research Front Paper in the field of Economics &
Article: Compromise solution by MCDM methods: A
comparative analysis of VIKOR and
TOPSIS Authors: Opricovic, S;Tzeng, GH
Journal: EUR J OPER RES, 156 (2): 445-455 JUL 16 2004
Addresses: Natl Chiao Tung Univ, Inst Management Technol,
1001 Ta Hsueh Rd, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan.
Natl Chiao Tung Univ, Inst Management Technol, Hsinchu 300,
Fac Civil Engn, YU-11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Why do you think your paper is highly cited?
Three keywords attract the reader's attention: Compromise (as one of the
conflict resolution methodologies), VIKOR (a new method for multicriteria
decision-making), and TOPSIS (technique for order preference by similarity
to an ideal solution). The basic principle is that the chosen alternative
should have the shortest distance from the ideal solution and the farthest
distance from the negative-ideal solution.
We propose and explain a novel compromise ranking method, also known as
VIKOR (VIšekriterijumsko KOmpromisno Rangiranje) for comparison with
the TOPSIS (Total Order Preference by Similarity to the Ideal Solution)
method in the MCDM (Multiple Criteria Decision Making). We can use the
basic concept of the VIKOR method and combine DEMATEL (Decision Making
Trial and Evaluation Laboratory) technique for extending the VIKOR method
to evaluate the rankings and improve the gaps of performances for achieving
the aspired/desired levels (values).
We also compared VIKOR with TOPSIS methods and found that the VIKOR method
can be used to rank alternatives and to improve the gaps of each criterion
for achieving the aspired/desired level. Therefore, this paper will likely
become an important source in solving MADM (Multiple Attribute Decision
Making) problems for evaluating, improving, or selecting alternatives in
order to achieve the aspired/desired levels (values) based on the DEMATEL
technique combined with the VIKOR method. I think this paper and many other
related papers from my research group have also been highly cited because
they can be extensively applied toward solving practical problems in the
Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or
synthesis of knowledge?
The MCDM methods VIKOR and TOPSIS are based on an aggregating/synthesizing
function representing "closeness/gap to ideal or to aspired/desired level,"
an idea which originated in the compromise programming method outlined by
P. L. Yu and M. Zeleny in 1971. Linear normalization in VIKOR and vector
normalization in TOPSIS is used to eliminate the units of criteria
A new discovery of VIKOR method for compromise ranking or
improving/reducing the gaps of each criterion determines a compromise
solution, providing a maximum "group utility" for the "majority" and a
minimum of an individual regret for the "opponent." The TOPSIS method
determines a solution with the shortest distance to the ideal solution and
the greatest distance from the negative-ideal solution.
A comparative analysis of these two methods is illustrated with a numerical
example, showing the similarity and some differences. We also discovered
that TOPSIS can not be used in rankings, but can be used to measure the
achieved level and to analyze/improve how we can get the minimal gaps in
We further developed a new hybrid method which combined DEMATEL technique
with the VIKOR method to probe how to use qualitative and quantitative
measurements for real problems to create/improve plan indexes and criteria,
as well as how to help these indexes achieve the aspired/desired levels for
each criterion based on the basic concept outlined in this paper.
Would you summarize the significance of your paper in
The new VIKOR method for conflict resolution determines a compromise
solution, providing a maximum "group utility" for the "majority" and a
minimum of individual regret from the "opponent." Compromise is a
This useful compromise ranking/improving method (named VIKOR) was developed
for the multicriteria optimization of complex systems. However, few papers
discuss conflicting (competing) criteria with dependence and feedback in
the compromise/solution method. Our paper proposed VIKOR as one applicable
technique to implement within MCDM to provide decision makers with an
improved method to rank the projects/alternatives and to understand their
inherent gaps, in order to improve the large gaps in control items and also
to achieve the aspired levels; it has therefore been receiving
VIKOR is used to help decision-makers make decisions and has set an
essential foundation in the compromise ranking study of MCDM. In addition,
quite a few papers and researchers have utilized VIKOR combined with other
methods to apply to any field in solving real problems of MADM for
evaluating, improving, or selecting the best alternatives to achieve
aspired/desired levels throughout the world.
How did you become involved in this research and were
any particular problems encountered along the way?
There are many conflict management situations. Among the numerous
approaches available for conflict management, one of the most prevalent is
multicriteria decision-making (MCDM). Particular problems arose from
various water-related issues, such as drought, flood, contamination, and
I first became involved with MCDM research in 1973, when I studied for a
Doctoral Course in Management Science at Osaka University in Japan. In the
real world, decision-makers often simultaneously faced/managed more then
one, i.e., multiple criteria/objectives with conflicting and
Some problems encountered along the way were how could we measure,
evaluate, rank, improve, or select these problems for reducing the gaps in
order to achieve the aspired/desired levels (or grades) forward to number
only one in practical terms. Traditional methods are unsuitable when
dealing with these problems so as to reduce or improve the gaps in each
dimension/criterion. Thus, the basic concept of this research proposes a
novel VIKOR method to minimize the normalized gap/regret.
Where do you see your research leading in the
Our research in hybrid MADM methods will continue to be a leader in
relaxing and improving the assumption/hypotheses of past approaches for
satisfying and meeting real world situations. I'm currently teaching two
related courses: "Research Methods for Problems-Solving" and "New frontiers
of Multiple Criteria Decision Making."
I will also be publishing a series of four related books, co-authored along
with my student Dr. Jih-Jeng Huang, for Taylor & Francis Publishers.
Our research offers significant methods for decision-makers from government
and business, and also for people whose daily tasks could be improved
through the formulating of solutions to the problems at hand, whereby an
individual may deduce which solution/alternative is closest to the
aspired/desired level (ideal point). I believe that the results of this
research will lead individuals toward a better future.
Do you foresee any social or political implications for
We would like to see compromise accepted as a sustainable solution in
natural resources management. VIKOR is an appropriate tool for compromise
I believe that our research of the proposed VIKOR method discussed in this
article, combined DEMATEL/ISM technique, can be applied to any field for
the purpose of building a network relationship map (NRM) relative to any
social or political implication across various viewpoints,
dimensions/aspects, or criteria/alternatives.
These concepts can be extended to evaluation, ranking, improving or
selecting the best alternative through a novel hybrid MCDM model which
addresses dependent relationships among criteria—using a DEMATEL
technique along with an analytical network process—to decide the
relative weights of criteria, showing inter-dependence and feedback in the
real world. There, the VIKOR method is used to evaluate and improve the
gaps in each criterion and reduce the gaps in order to achieve the
Faculty of Civil Engineering
University Of Belgrade
National Chiao Tung University