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Open AccessArticle

Analysis of the Digital Divide Using Fuzzy Forecasting

Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Szczecin, Mickiewicza 64, 71-101 Szczecin, Poland
Faculty of Technology, The Jacob of Paradies University, Chopina 52, 66-400 Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2019, 11(2), 166;
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Criteria Decision Aid methods in fuzzy decision problems)
In the countries of the former Eastern Bloc (Central and Eastern Europe) belonging to the European Union, a gradual elimination of the technological gap, greater expenditures, competitiveness and productivity can be noticed. In this context, analysis and forecast of the level of accessibility and use of ICT (information and communication technologies) by households in these countries has become interesting. It allows for the selection of digitally excluded regions, or those threatened with this phenomenon in the coming years (2018–2020). To carry out the analysis, a framework based on fuzzy numbers and the NEAT F-PROMETHEE (New Easy Approach To Fuzzy-PROMETHEE) method was developed. The potential of the fuzzy outranking approach taking into account the uncertainty of input data (criteria and preferences) has been demonstrated as an alternative to the IDI (ICT Development Index) methodology widely used in research on regional ICT development based on composite indices. Research has shown that Estonia is the leader in the area of ICT expansion among households, and in the next three years will definitely maintain its dominant position. Slovenia follows shortly after, followed by Latvia. At the end of the ranking were the countries with the largest percentage in Central and Eastern Europe of population excluded digitally or threatened with this phenomenon; these are: Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and, in last place, Romania. Within this framework, the robustness of the obtained rankings to change in the degree of uncertainty of preferences was also examined. It turned out that eliminating the uncertainty of preferences resulted in an increase in the uncertainty of the aggregate, fuzzy grades obtained at the output. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fuzzy MCDA; NEAT F-PROMETHEE; Fuzzy forecasting; ICT; digital divide; households of Central and Eastern European countries; sustainable management Fuzzy MCDA; NEAT F-PROMETHEE; Fuzzy forecasting; ICT; digital divide; households of Central and Eastern European countries; sustainable management
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Ziemba, P.; Becker, J. Analysis of the Digital Divide Using Fuzzy Forecasting. Symmetry 2019, 11, 166.

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