Special Issue "Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Techniques for Improvement Sustainability Engineering Processes"

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994). This special issue belongs to the section "Computer Science and Symmetry/Asymmetry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 January 2020) | Viewed by 85311

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Edmundas Kazimieras Zavadskas
grade E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Institute of Sustainable Construction, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, LT-10223 Vilnius, Lithuania
Interests: operations research; optimization and decision analysis; multicriteria decision making; multiattribute decision making (MADM); decision support systems; civil engineering; energy; sustainable development; fuzzy sets theory; fuzzy multicriteria decision making; sustainability; management; game theory and economical computing knowledge management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Dragan Pamucar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of logistics, University of Defence, Belgrade, Pavla Jurišića Šturma 33, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: multi-criteria decision making problems; computational intelligence; sustainability neuro-fuzzy systems; fuzzy; rough and intuitionistic fuzzy set theory; neutrosophic theory
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Željko Stević
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department for Transport Engineering, Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, University of East Sarajevo, Vojvode Mišića 52, 74000 Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Interests: logistics; supply chain management; transport; traffic engineering; multicriteria decision-making problems; rough set theory; sustainability; fuzzy set theory; neutrosophic theory
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The success of any activity and process depends fundamentally on the possibility of balancing (symmetry) needs and their satisfaction. That is, the ability to properly define a set of success indicators. The application of the developed new multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods can be eliminated or decreased by decision-makers’ subjectivity, which leads to consistency or symmetry in the weight values of the criteria. Decision making on complex engineering problems including individual process decisions requires an appropriate and reliable decision support system. Fuzzy set theory, rough set theory, and neutrosophic set theory which belong to MCDM techniques are very useful for modelling complex engineering problems with imprecise, ambiguous, or vague data. Sustainability in engineering is one of the most discussed topics in recent years, and represents one of the key factors in engineering sustainable development and optimization. Sustainable multidisciplinary approaches based on MCDM techniques enable easier process technology in the future.

This Special Issue on “Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Techniques for Improvement Sustainability Engineering Processes” aims to incorporate recent developments in the area of sustainable engineering processes. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • MCDM optimization in sustainable engineering,
  • Environmental sustainability in engineering processes,
  • Sustainable multi-criteria production and logistics processes planning,
  • Integrated approach for modelling processes in engineering,
  • New trends in the multi-criteria evaluation of sustainable processes, 
  • Multi-criteria decision-making in strategic management based on sustainable criteria.

Conclusion:

Engineering is the application of scientific and mathematical principles for practical objectives such as the processes, manufacture, design, and operation of products, while accounting for constraints invoked by environmental, economic, and social factors. There are various factors needing to be considered in order to address engineering sustainability, which is critical for overall the sustainability of human development and activity. In these regards, in recent decades, decision-making theory has been a subject of intense research activities due to its wide applications in different areas, such as sustainable engineering and environmental sustainability. The decision-making theory approach has become an important means of providing real-time solutions to uncertainty problems, especially for sustainable engineering and environmental sustainability problems in engineering processes. We hope that this Special Issue will stimulate both theoretical and applied research in the related fields of sustainability engineering processes. It is certainly impossible to provide in this short editorial a more comprehensive description for all articles in this Special Issue. However, we sincerely hope that our effort in compiling these articles will enrich our readers and inspire researchers with regard to the seemingly common, but actually important issue of decision-making and fuzzy decision-making approaches for sustainable engineering processes.

Prof. Edmundas Kazimieras Zavadskas
Dr. Dragan Pamučar
Dr. Željko Stević
Dr. Abbas Mardani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Symmetry is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • fuzzy set theory
  • rough set theory
  • neutrosophic set theory
  • sustainable development
  • modelling in engineering
  • sustainable waste management
  • sustainable processes
  • decision making
  • environmental engineering
  • engineering sustainability

Published Papers (42 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Techniques for Improvement Sustainability Engineering Processes
Symmetry 2020, 12(6), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12060986 - 09 Jun 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1409
Abstract
The success of any activity and process depends fundamentally on the possibility of balancing (symmetry) needs and their satisfaction. That is, the ability to properly define a set of success indicators. The application of the developed new multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods can be [...] Read more.
The success of any activity and process depends fundamentally on the possibility of balancing (symmetry) needs and their satisfaction. That is, the ability to properly define a set of success indicators. The application of the developed new multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods can be eliminated or decreased by decision-makers’ subjectivity, which leads to consistency or symmetry in the weight values of the criteria. In this Special Issue, 40 research papers and one review study co-authored by 137 researchers from 23 different countries explore aspects of multi-criteria modeling and optimization in crisp or uncertain environments. The papers proposing new approaches and elaborate case studies in the following areas of applications: MCDM optimization in sustainable engineering, environmental sustainability in engineering processes, sustainable multi-criteria production and logistics processes planning, integrated approach for modeling processes in engineering, new trends in the multi-criteria evaluation of sustainable processes, multi-criteria decision-making in strategic management based on sustainable criteria. Full article
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Research

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Article
Use of Determination of the Importance of Criteria in Business-Friendly Certification of Cities as Sustainable Local Economic Development Planning Tool
Symmetry 2020, 12(3), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12030425 - 06 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
One of the essential activities for sustainable local economic development is continuous improvement of business environment which can be carried out through the business-friendly certification as objective benchmarking process, which is influenced by many factors - criteria that could be analyzed using multi-criteria [...] Read more.
One of the essential activities for sustainable local economic development is continuous improvement of business environment which can be carried out through the business-friendly certification as objective benchmarking process, which is influenced by many factors - criteria that could be analyzed using multi-criteria decision-making methods. Determining criteria weights is the most important task regarding these methods for which a number of methodologies based on different approaches were developed. These methodologies could be generally divided into two groups: subjective and objective. Shortly, these methodologies quantify given preferences using knowledge of experts if they are subjective or using calculations from available data if they are objective. Methodologies from these two groups give different results in a wide range of values. Therefore, it is useful to create composite indicators using aggregation of both approaches in order to reduce the influence of their bad individual characteristics and, therefore, achieve a balanced symmetrical approach. The purpose of this paper is constructing one efficient model that solves a problem of the planning of sustainable local economic development in the Republic of Serbia. Our approach uses the aggregation of the entropy method, as one objective approach, and the analytical hierarchy process, as a subjective approach, in executing business-friendly certification process. The implementation of the proposed approach has been demonstrated as a part of a business-to-government (B2G) platform called “Multi-Criteria Support System for Analysis of the Local Economic Environment” in the City of Niš. Full article
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Article
Application of the AHP-BWM Model for Evaluating Driver Behavior Factors Related to Road Safety: A Case Study for Budapest
Symmetry 2020, 12(2), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12020243 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 2965
Abstract
The use of driver behavior has been considered a complex way to solve road safety complications. Car drivers are usually involved in various risky driving factors which lead to accidents where people are fatally or seriously injured. The present study aims to dissect [...] Read more.
The use of driver behavior has been considered a complex way to solve road safety complications. Car drivers are usually involved in various risky driving factors which lead to accidents where people are fatally or seriously injured. The present study aims to dissect and rank the significant driver behavior factors related to road safety by applying an integrated multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) model, which is structured as a hierarchy with at least one 5 × 5 (or bigger) pairwise comparison matrix (PCM). A real-world, complex decision-making problem was selected to evaluate the possible application of the proposed model (driver behavior preferences related to road safety problems). The application of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) alone, by precluding layman participants, might cause a loss of reliable information in the case of the decision-making systems with big PCMs. Evading this tricky issue, we used the Best Worst Method (BWM) to make the layman’s evaluator task easier and timesaving. Therefore, the AHP-BWM model was found to be a suitable integration to evaluate risky driver behavior factors within a designed three-level hierarchical structure. The model results found the most significant driver behavior factors that influence road safety for each level, based on evaluator responses on the driver behavior questionnaire (DBQ). Moreover, the output vector of weights in the integrated model is more consistent, with results for 5 × 5 PCMs or bigger. The proposed AHP-BWM model can be used for PCMs with scientific data organized by traditional means. Full article
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Article
A Novel Integrated Subjective-Objective MCDM Model for Alternative Ranking in Order to Achieve Business Excellence and Sustainability
Symmetry 2020, 12(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12010164 - 14 Jan 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 1728
Abstract
Achieving sustainability in constant development in every area in today’s modern business has become a challenge on the one hand, and an imperative on the other. If the aspect of business excellence achievement is also added to it, the complexity of the system [...] Read more.
Achieving sustainability in constant development in every area in today’s modern business has become a challenge on the one hand, and an imperative on the other. If the aspect of business excellence achievement is also added to it, the complexity of the system increases significantly, and it is necessary to model a system considering several parameters and satisfying the multi-criteria function. This paper develops a novel integrated model that involves the application of a subjective-objective model in order to achieve business sustainability and excellence. The model consists of fuzzy PIPRECIA (fuzzy pivot pairwise relative criteria importance Assessment) as a subjective method, CRITIC (criteria importance through intercriteria correlation) and I-distance method as objective methods. The goal is to take the advantages of these approaches and allow for more accurate and balanced (symmetric) decision-making through their integration. The integrated subjective-objective model has been applied in a narrow geographical area to consider and evaluate banks as a significant factor in improving the social aspect of sustainability. An additional contribution of the paper is a critical overview of multi-criteria problems in which the levels of the hierarchical structure contain a different (asymmetric) number of elements. A specific example has also been used to prove that only a hierarchical structure with an equal number of lower-level elements provides precise weights of criteria in accordance with the preferences of decision-makers referring to subjective models. The results obtained are verified throughout the calculation of Spearman and Pearson correlation coefficients, and throughout a sensitivity analysis involving a dynamic reverse rank matrix. Full article
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Article
Modelling of Autonomous Search and Rescue Missions by Interval-Valued Neutrosophic WASPAS Framework
Symmetry 2020, 12(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12010162 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
The application of autonomous robots in search and rescue missions represents a complex task which requires a robot to make robust decisions in unknown and dangerous environments. However, imprecise robot movements and small measurement errors obtained by robot sensors can have an impact [...] Read more.
The application of autonomous robots in search and rescue missions represents a complex task which requires a robot to make robust decisions in unknown and dangerous environments. However, imprecise robot movements and small measurement errors obtained by robot sensors can have an impact on the autonomous environment exploration quality, and therefore, should be addressed while designing search and rescue (SAR) robots. In this paper, a novel frontier evaluation strategy is proposed, that address technical, economic, social, and environmental factors of the sustainable environment exploration process, and a new extension of the weighted aggregated sum product assessment (WASPAS) method, modelled under interval-valued neutrosophic sets (IVNS), is introduced for autonomous mobile robots. The general-purpose Pioneer 3-AT robot platform is applied in simulated search and rescue missions, and the conducted experimental assessment shows the proposed method efficiency in commercial and public-type building exploration. By addressing the estimated measurement errors in the initial data obtained by the robot sensors, the proposed decision-making framework provides additional reliability for comparing and ranking candidate frontiers. The interval-valued multi-criteria decision-making method combined with the proposed frontier evaluation strategy enables the robot to exhaustively explore and map smaller SAR mission environments as well as ensure robot safety and efficient energy consumption in relatively larger public-type building environments. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Manufacturing Flexibility and Multi-Criteria Optimization on the Sustainability of Manufacturing Systems
Symmetry 2020, 12(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12010157 - 12 Jan 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1367
Abstract
The presented manuscript deals with the impact of manufacturing flexibility on cost-time investment as a function of sustainable production, which addresses the company’s sustainable social and environmental impact adequately. The impact of manufacturing flexibility on cost-time investment in the research sphere is not [...] Read more.
The presented manuscript deals with the impact of manufacturing flexibility on cost-time investment as a function of sustainable production, which addresses the company’s sustainable social and environmental impact adequately. The impact of manufacturing flexibility on cost-time investment in the research sphere is not described, despite the fact that we know its key role in the high-mix low-volume production types. Recently, researchers have been addressing intensively the impacts of various parameters on the sustainable aspect and its dependence on manufacturing flexibility. The complexity of the influence parameters is reflected in the multi-criteria nature of optimization problems that can be solved with appropriate use of the evolutionary computation methods. The manuscript presents a new method of manufacturing flexibility modelling, with respect to the four-level architectural model, which reflected as a symmetry phenomena influence on the cost-time profile diagram. The solution to a complex optimization problem is derived using the proposed improved heuristic Kalman algorithm method. A new method is presented of optimization parameters’ evaluation with respect to the manufacturing flexibility impacts on cost-time investment. The large impact of appropriate multi-criteria optimization on a sustainably justified production system is presented, with the experimental work on benchmark datasets and an application case. The new method allows a comprehensive optimization approach, and validation of the optimization results by which we can provide more sustainable products, manufacturing processes, and increase the company’s total, social and environmental benefits. Full article
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Article
Location Optimization of CR Express International Logistics Centers
Symmetry 2020, 12(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12010143 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1928
Abstract
Currently, the trade volume between China and the European Union is experiencing rapid growth. However, there are many bottlenecks in the operation of the China Railway Express, such as imbalance in inbound and outbound transported containers in the Sino–European direction and a low [...] Read more.
Currently, the trade volume between China and the European Union is experiencing rapid growth. However, there are many bottlenecks in the operation of the China Railway Express, such as imbalance in inbound and outbound transported containers in the Sino–European direction and a low profit margin. More than fifty-three rail routes in China provide rail transportation to European cities and have small traffic volumes. However, such a dramatic situation affects transportation costs, which are three times higher compared with maritime transportation, causing uncertainty related to the demand of Chinese customers. This study analyzes the shortcomings of previous research studies related to multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) models applied in the field of logistics and transportation. The study proposes a novel approach to determine the optimal locations of the CR Express international logistics centers. The proposed approach involves the application of a MCDM model using the DEMATEL-MAIRCA method. This technique finds the closest solution to the ideal one by identifying the value of the best alternative in line with the observed criterion, and by measuring the distances of other alternatives according to the observed criterion of the ideal value. Finally, we show the similarity of the proposed methodology to other MCMD methods, which is one of the key topics of the Symmetry Journal, to prove the validity of the applied DEMATEL-MAIRCA method. Preliminary results show that in view of increased container turnover between China and the European Union, the determination of optimal locations for CR Express international logistics centers should be carried out dynamically. Full article
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Article
Unified Fuzzy Divergence Measures with Multi-Criteria Decision Making Problems for Sustainable Planning of an E-Waste Recycling Job Selection
Symmetry 2020, 12(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12010090 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
In the literature of information theory and fuzzy set doctrine, there exist various prominent measures of divergence; each possesses its own merits, demerits, and disciplines of applications. Divergence measure is a tool to compute the discrimination between two objects. Particularly, the idea of [...] Read more.
In the literature of information theory and fuzzy set doctrine, there exist various prominent measures of divergence; each possesses its own merits, demerits, and disciplines of applications. Divergence measure is a tool to compute the discrimination between two objects. Particularly, the idea of divergence measure for fuzzy sets is significant since it has applications in several areas viz., process control, decision making, image segmentation, and pattern recognition. In this paper, some new fuzzy divergence measures, which are generalizations of probabilistic divergence measures are introduced. Next, we review two different generalizations of the following measures. Firstly, directed divergence (Kullback–Leibler or Jeffrey invariant) and secondly, Jensen difference divergence, based on these measures, we develop a class of unified divergence measures for fuzzy sets (FSs). Then, a method based on divergence measure for fuzzy sets (FSs) is proposed to evaluate the multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) problems under the fuzzy atmosphere. Lastly, an illustrative example of the recycling job selection problem of sustainable planning of the e-waste is presented to demonstrate the reasonableness and usefulness of the developed method. Full article
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Article
Foresight Based on MADM-Based Scenarios’ Approach: A Case about Comprehensive Sustainable Health Financing Models
Symmetry 2020, 12(1), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12010061 - 27 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1425
Abstract
As indicated by a worldwide common perspective about health and sustainable health systems, the health structure as a part of public health is a key theme of many societies. The future is shaped by probable future scenarios, for which dealing practically has many [...] Read more.
As indicated by a worldwide common perspective about health and sustainable health systems, the health structure as a part of public health is a key theme of many societies. The future is shaped by probable future scenarios, for which dealing practically has many complications. This study is focused on the future scenarios for a comprehensive sustainable health financing model to support a superior structure for a decision and policy-making pilot for the society. This aim is followed based on multiple attribute decision making (MADM)-based scenarios using two MADM methods, step-wise weight assessment ratio analysis (SWARA) and weighted aggregated sum product assessment (WASPAS), as a hybrid model which is the first real case study of the approach. Four main probable future scenarios are identified and selected based on experts’ viewpoints about sustainable health financing models. These scenarios include membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), dynamic basic insurance, international cooperation, and effective resources management. The process of evaluating based on the approach works as a wider picture, including all criteria and alternatives together. Sustainable medical services, empowering the private sector in both production and technology, and employing international managers took place as the top priority for considering the most applicable alternatives in the future. This structure is designed and developed in Iran’s context, and the Institute for Futures Studies in Health is the pilot of the research. Full article
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Article
Simulation-Based Positioning of Circular Economy Manager’s Skills in Construction Projects
Symmetry 2020, 12(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12010050 - 26 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2138
Abstract
Circular economy (CE) is an emerging economic model based on the endless circulation flow of resources creating additional value. In temporary organizations such as construction projects, all administrative decisions are crucial for final success. One of the ideas is to enroll a circular [...] Read more.
Circular economy (CE) is an emerging economic model based on the endless circulation flow of resources creating additional value. In temporary organizations such as construction projects, all administrative decisions are crucial for final success. One of the ideas is to enroll a circular economy manager (CEMR) and put him in an organizational structure. Implementation of the CE concept should be the effort of the entire project team. However, actions specific to the innovative nature of the procedures related to the CE in construction projects require additional support. It can be provided by professionals who can adapt a wide spectrum of knowledge to be used for promoting CE in the execution of construction processes. CEMRs can play the role of patrons of the CE issues because they support project managers in saving material resources in construction projects. The symmetry between visible outcomes of the CE idea and the employment of an extra manager has contributed to the development of the CEMR selection criteria model. However, effective recruitment for such a post may be a bit complicated for decision-makers, especially when CE is still enigmatic, as its procedures are quite undiscovered. All in all, the multi-criteria decision-making problem forces one to prepare the list of selection criteria and to rank them according to status in the hierarchy. This article shows prioritized criteria for selecting the CEMR based on the advanced literature review concluded after several expert-based reviews and calculated after some Monte Carlo simulations. The main purpose of this article is to help decision-makers in construction projects to perform a reliable recruitment process. Full article
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Article
A New Model for Stock Management in Order to Rationalize Costs: ABC-FUCOM-Interval Rough CoCoSo Model
Symmetry 2019, 11(12), 1527; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11121527 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 1807
Abstract
Cost rationalization has become imperative in every economic system in order to create adequate foundations for its efficient and sustainable management. Competitiveness in the global market is extremely high and it is challenging to manage business and logistics systems, especially with regards to [...] Read more.
Cost rationalization has become imperative in every economic system in order to create adequate foundations for its efficient and sustainable management. Competitiveness in the global market is extremely high and it is challenging to manage business and logistics systems, especially with regards to financial parameters. It is necessary to rationalize costs in all activities and processes. The presence of inventories is inevitability in every logistics system, and it tends to create adequate and symmetrical policies for their efficient and sustainable management. In order to be able to do this, it is necessary to determine which products represent the largest percentage share in the value of procurement, and which are the most represented quantitatively. For this purpose, ABC analysis, which classifies products into three categories, is applied taking into account different constraints. The aim of this paper is to form a new model that involves the integration of ABC analysis, the Full Consistency Method (FUCOM), and a novel Interval Rough Combined Compromise Solution (CoCoSo) for stock management in the storage system. A new IRN Dombi weighted geometric averaging (IRNDWGA) operator is developed to aggregate the initial decision matrix. After grouping the products into three categories A, B and C, it is necessary to identify appropriate suppliers for each category in order to rationalize procurement costs. Financial, logistical, and quality parameters are taken into account. The FUCOM method has been used to determine the significance of these parameters. A new Interval CoCoSo approach is developed to determine the optimal suppliers for each product group. The results obtained have been modeled throughout a multi-phase sensitivity analysis. Full article
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Article
Evaluating and Prioritizing the Green Supply Chain Management Practices in Pakistan: Based on Delphi and Fuzzy AHP Approach
Symmetry 2019, 11(11), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11111346 - 01 Nov 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2166
Abstract
Nowadays, green supply chain management (SCM) practices are increasing among firms to adopt green practices and reduce the negative effects of supply chain operations on the environment. Firms such as manufacturing, mining, and agriculture have to improve their capacity in green SCM practices [...] Read more.
Nowadays, green supply chain management (SCM) practices are increasing among firms to adopt green practices and reduce the negative effects of supply chain operations on the environment. Firms such as manufacturing, mining, and agriculture have to improve their capacity in green SCM practices because environmental regulations force them to consider these issues. However, green practices are new and require comprehensive study to determine this problem. This study has taken the case of three garment manufacturing firms for the evaluation of green SCM practices in the context of Pakistan. The green SCM requires multi-dimensional techniques; therefore, fuzzy-based multi-criteria decision analysis approaches must be adopted while assessing green SCM practices of firms. This is because fuzzy-based methods obtain a significant solution for complex, vague, and uncertain multi-attribute problems in fuzzy environment. Therefore, in this study, a hybrid decision model comprised of Delphi, and Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodologies is proposed for assessing the green SCM practices of firms in terms of green design, green purchasing, green production, green warehousing, green logistics, and reverse logistics. The Fuzzy AHP method results reveal that “green purchasing,” “green design,” and “green production” are ranked the most important green indicators. Further, results reveal the ranking of manufacturing firms (alternatives) in the context of green SCM practices. This study shall help industries to focus on green SCM practices and adopt the green manufacturing process. Full article
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Article
Cloud-Based Multi-Robot Path Planning in Complex and Crowded Environment with Multi-Criteria Decision Making Using Full Consistency Method
Symmetry 2019, 11(10), 1241; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11101241 - 04 Oct 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
The progress in the research of various areas of robotics, artificial intelligence, and other similar scientific disciplines enabled the application of multi-robot systems in different complex environments and situations. It is necessary to elaborate the strategies regarding the path planning and paths coordination [...] Read more.
The progress in the research of various areas of robotics, artificial intelligence, and other similar scientific disciplines enabled the application of multi-robot systems in different complex environments and situations. It is necessary to elaborate the strategies regarding the path planning and paths coordination well in order to efficiently execute a global mission in common environment, prior to everything. This paper considers the multi-robot system based on the cloud technology with a high level of autonomy, which is intended for execution of tasks in a complex and crowded environment. Cloud approach shifts computation load from agents to the cloud and provides powerful processing capabilities to the multi-robot system. The proposed concept uses a multi-robot path planning algorithm that can operate in an environment that is unknown in advance. With the aim of improving the efficiency of path planning, the implementation of Multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) while using Full consistency method (FUCOM) is proposed. FUCOM guarantees the consistent determination of the weights of factors affecting the robots motion to be symmetric or asymmetric, with respect to the mission specificity that requires the management of multiple risks arising from different sources, optimizing the global cost map in that way. Full article
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Article
A New Model for Defining the Criteria of Service Quality in Rail Transport: The Full Consistency Method Based on a Rough Power Heronian Aggregator
Symmetry 2019, 11(8), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11080992 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
The European standard on transport logistics and services in public passenger transport EN 13816 is based on a relationship between the perception of users and transport carriers throughout the groups of criteria taken as a basis for observation in this paper. The constant [...] Read more.
The European standard on transport logistics and services in public passenger transport EN 13816 is based on a relationship between the perception of users and transport carriers throughout the groups of criteria taken as a basis for observation in this paper. The constant development and improvement of services in order to achieve sustainability of passenger transport is an imperative on the one hand and a challenge on the other. This is highly evident in persons with disabilities who are faced with many physical and social barriers related to access to rail transport. In this paper, a new model for the selection of criteria for the quality of passenger service in rail transport, from the perspective of persons with disabilities as the main category of passengers, has been created. The survey has covered 168 criteria classified in several groups and the entire territory of Serbia. In order to select the most important criteria, a new model that implies the integration of Full Consistency Method and a Rough Power Heronian aggregator has been developed. The development of a new aggregator enables more accurate decision-making in the process of group decision-making. The results obtained in this paper show that the most important criteria according to importance are Accessibility, Availability, Security, Time, Customer care, Information, Comfort, Environmental impact. Based on the criteria obtained for the service quality of rail transport for persons with disabilities, railway carriers will be able to change and improve the existing services, content, characteristics, equipment of railway stations and vehicles. Full article
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Article
Ranking of Heritage Building Conversion Alternatives by Applying BIM and MCDM: A Case of Sapieha Palace in Vilnius
Symmetry 2019, 11(8), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11080973 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2065
Abstract
A balance (symmetry) between socio-cultural and socio-economic benefits as a part of the economic, social, and cultural development policy of each city and country should be assured when converting built heritage. To anticipate building conversion priorities and opportunities, modern technologies can be employed. [...] Read more.
A balance (symmetry) between socio-cultural and socio-economic benefits as a part of the economic, social, and cultural development policy of each city and country should be assured when converting built heritage. To anticipate building conversion priorities and opportunities, modern technologies can be employed. However, currently the activity of reconstruction of heritage buildings is part of the construction domain wherein modern digital technologies have been the least ever applied. Therefore, photogrammetry and the 3D modeling of existing heritage buildings was suggested. A case study of Sapieha Palace, built in the Baroque style in 1689–1691 in Vilnius, Lithuania was explored in this research. The applied technologies and software (Agisoft Photoscan, Autodesk ReCap and Autodesk Revit) allowed for the creation of a high quality and accurate model involving both the textured exterior of the building and the interior layout. In addition, the valuable features of a building were identified and marked in a three-dimensional digital model. Based on the model, the authors formulated possible conversion alternatives of the building and identified the associated decision-making criteria, as well as determined their relative significance by an expert survey method. The authors suggested the application of the multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) method under uncertainty, namely the rough weighted aggregated sum product assessment (WASPAS), for ranking alternatives according to multiple criteria. Therefore, the suggested integration of modern digital technologies and decision-making models helps to assure the rational conversion decision of built cultural heritage based on high accuracy data as well as contributing to the sustainable development of engineering processes. Full article
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Article
Personalized Product Evaluation Based on GRA-TOPSIS and Kansei Engineering
Symmetry 2019, 11(7), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11070867 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2194
Abstract
With the improvement of human living standards, users’ requirements have changed from function to emotion. Helping users pick out the most suitable product based on their subjective requirements is of great importance for enterprises. This paper proposes a Kansei engineering-based grey relational analysis [...] Read more.
With the improvement of human living standards, users’ requirements have changed from function to emotion. Helping users pick out the most suitable product based on their subjective requirements is of great importance for enterprises. This paper proposes a Kansei engineering-based grey relational analysis and techniques for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (KE-GAR-TOPSIS) method to make a subjective user personalized ranking of alternative products. The KE-GRA-TOPSIS method integrates five methods, including Kansei Engineering (KE), analytic hierarchy process (AHP), entropy, game theory, and grey relational analysis-TOPSIS (GRA-TOPSIS). First, an evaluation system is established by KE and AHP. Second, we define a matrix variate—Kansei decision matrix (KDM)—to describe the satisfaction of user requirements. Third, the AHP is used to obtain subjective weight. Next, the entropy method is employed to obtain objective weights by taking the KDM as input. Then the two types of weights are optimized using game theory to obtain the comprehensive weights. Finally, the GRA-TOPSIS method takes the comprehensive weights and the KMD as inputs to rank alternatives. A comparison of the KE-GRA-TOPSIS, KE-TOPSIS, KE-GRA, GRA-TOPSIS, and TOPSIS is conducted to illustrate the unique merits of the KE-GRA-TOPSIS method in Kansei evaluation. Finally, taking the electric drill as an example, we describe the process of the proposed method in detail, which achieves a symmetry between the objectivity of products and subjectivity of users. Full article
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Article
Optimizing the Paths of Trains Formed at the Loading Area in a Multi-loop Rail Network
Symmetry 2019, 11(7), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11070844 - 01 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1056
Abstract
Each loop in a multi-loop rail network consists of two segments, both of which have roughly the same conditions and mileage and are approximately symmetrical. This paper is devoted to optimizing the paths of trains formed at the loading area in a multi-loop [...] Read more.
Each loop in a multi-loop rail network consists of two segments, both of which have roughly the same conditions and mileage and are approximately symmetrical. This paper is devoted to optimizing the paths of trains formed at the loading area in a multi-loop rail network. To attain this goal, three different situations are analyzed, and two models are proposed for networks with adequate and inadequate capabilities. Computational experiments are also carried out using the commercial software Lingo, with the branch and bound algorithm. The results show that the models can achieve the same solution with different solution times. To solve the problem of path selection for large-scale train flows, a genetic algorithm is also designed and proves to perform well in a set of computational experiments. Full article
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Article
Intuitionistic Type-2 Fuzzy Set and Its Properties
Symmetry 2019, 11(6), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11060808 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
Decision making under uncertainty describes situations that consider a profound lack of knowledge, where the functional form is completely unknown, and often, the relevant input and output variables are unknown as well. Data, being the vital input of decision making, contain a dissimilar [...] Read more.
Decision making under uncertainty describes situations that consider a profound lack of knowledge, where the functional form is completely unknown, and often, the relevant input and output variables are unknown as well. Data, being the vital input of decision making, contain a dissimilar level of imprecision that necessitates different approaches for making a proper and legitimate decision. In this article, we propose the concept of the intuitionistic type-2 fuzzy set (IT2FS). Several arithmetic operations on IT2FS such as union, intersection, complement, containment, etc., are defined, and the related algebraic properties of IT2FS are also studied. Subsequently, we define two new operators, namely the necessity operator and the possibility operator, to convert an IT2FS into an ordinary T2FS, and then discuss some of their basic properties. Moreover, in this study, two distance measures, the Hamming distance and Euclidian distance of IT2FS, are proposed, and their applications are illustrated with an example. Full article
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Article
Hybrid Group MCDM Model to Select the Most Effective Alternative of the Second Runway of the Airport
Symmetry 2019, 11(6), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11060792 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2100
Abstract
Sustainable and efficient development is one of the most critical challenges facing modern society if it wants to save the world for future generations. Airports are an integral part of human activity. They need to be adapted to meet current and future sustainable [...] Read more.
Sustainable and efficient development is one of the most critical challenges facing modern society if it wants to save the world for future generations. Airports are an integral part of human activity. They need to be adapted to meet current and future sustainable needs and provide useful services to the public, taking into account prospects and requirements. Many performance criteria need to be assessed to address issues that often conflict with each other and have different units of measurement. The importance of the criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of alternatives varies. Besides, the implementation of such decisions has different—not precisely described in advance—effects on the interests of different groups in society. Some criteria are defined using different scales. Stakeholders could only evaluate the implemented project alternatives for efficiency throughout the project life cycle. It is essential to find alternative assessment models and adapt them to the challenges. The use of hybrid group multi-criteria decision-making models is one of the most appropriate ways to model such problems. This article presents a real application of the original model to choose the best second runway alternative of the airport. Full article
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Article
Development of a Novel Freight Railcar Load Planning and Monitoring System
Symmetry 2019, 11(6), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11060756 - 04 Jun 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Rail transport has unmistakable sustainable (environmental and economic) advantages in goods transportation on a massive scale. Goods loading constitutes an important segment of goods transportation by rail. Incorrect loading can be a serious threat to traffic safety as well as a generator of [...] Read more.
Rail transport has unmistakable sustainable (environmental and economic) advantages in goods transportation on a massive scale. Goods loading constitutes an important segment of goods transportation by rail. Incorrect loading can be a serious threat to traffic safety as well as a generator of unforeseen expenses related to goods, railway infrastructure and vehicles. At the beginning, the paper identifies the presence of incorrect loading into freight railcars. The analysis of the available loading software has led to the conclusion that no software offers adequate support to the planning and monitoring of the loading of goods into a covered railcar using a forklift truck. For this reason, the main aim of the research is to formulate a mathematical model that includes real-world constraints, as well as the design and implementation of an original user-friendly load planning and monitoring software system. Experimental evaluations of the implemented software have been made based on single and multiple railcar pallet loading problems, considering the following three optimization criteria: maximization of wagon load weight, maximization of wagon volume utilization and maximization of weighted profit. By testing the optimization and visualization features of the software and analyzing the results, it has been concluded that it can offer full support to real load planning and monitoring problems. Full article
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Article
A Dynamic Multi-Reduction Algorithm for Brain Functional Connection Pathways Analysis
Symmetry 2019, 11(5), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11050701 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Revealing brain functional connection pathways is of great significance in understanding the cognitive mechanism of the brain. In this paper, we present a novel rough set based dynamic multi-reduction algorithm (DMRA) to analyze brain functional connection pathways. First, a binary discernibility matrix is [...] Read more.
Revealing brain functional connection pathways is of great significance in understanding the cognitive mechanism of the brain. In this paper, we present a novel rough set based dynamic multi-reduction algorithm (DMRA) to analyze brain functional connection pathways. First, a binary discernibility matrix is introduced to obtain a reduction, and a reduction equivalence theorem is proposed and proved to verify the feasibility of reduction algorithm. Based on this idea, we propose a dynamic single-reduction algorithm (DSRA) to obtain a seed reduction, in which two dynamical acceleration mechanisms are presented to reduce the size of the binary discernibility matrix dynamically. Then, the dynamic multi-reduction algorithm is proposed, and multi-reductions can be obtained by replacing the non-core attributes in seed reduction. Comparative performance experiments were carried out on the UCI datasets to illustrate the superiority of DMRA in execution time and classification accuracy. A memory cognitive experiment was designed and three brain functional connection pathways were successfully obtained from brain functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) by employing the proposed DMRA. The theoretical and empirical results both illustrate the potentials of DMRA for brain functional connection pathways analysis. Full article
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Article
A Scientific Decision Framework for Cloud Vendor Prioritization under Probabilistic Linguistic Term Set Context with Unknown/Partial Weight Information
Symmetry 2019, 11(5), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11050682 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
With the tremendous growth of Cloud Vendors, Cloud vendor (CV) prioritization is a complex decision-making problem. Previous studies on CV selection use functional and non-functional attributes, but do not have an apt structure for managing uncertainty in preferences. Motivated by this challenge, in [...] Read more.
With the tremendous growth of Cloud Vendors, Cloud vendor (CV) prioritization is a complex decision-making problem. Previous studies on CV selection use functional and non-functional attributes, but do not have an apt structure for managing uncertainty in preferences. Motivated by this challenge, in this paper, a scientific framework for prioritization of CVs is proposed, which will help organizations to make decisions on service usage. Probabilistic linguistic term set (PLTS) is adopted as a structure for preference information, which manages uncertainty better by allowing partial information ignorance. Decision makers’ (DMs) relative importance is calculated using the programming model, by properly gaining the advantage of the partial knowledge and attributes, the weights are calculated using the extended statistical variance (SV) method. Further, DMs preferences are aggregated using a hybrid operator, and CVs are prioritized, using extended COPRAS method under the PLTS context. Finally, a case study on CV prioritization is provided for validating the scientific framework and the results are compared with other methods for understanding the strength and weakness of the proposal. Full article
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Article
Identification of Determinants of the Speed-Reducing Effect of Pedestrian Refuges in Villages Located on a Chosen Regional Road
Symmetry 2019, 11(4), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11040597 - 25 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
Traffic calming, as a traffic engineering discipline, is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the road engineering process. One of the traffic calming treatments are pedestrian refuges—raised islands located on or at the road centreline. This paper presents factors relevant to the performance [...] Read more.
Traffic calming, as a traffic engineering discipline, is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the road engineering process. One of the traffic calming treatments are pedestrian refuges—raised islands located on or at the road centreline. This paper presents factors relevant to the performance of this kind of traffic calming devices retrofitted on the stretches of regional roads in village areas. To this end, speed surveys were carried out before and after the islands in each direction on purposefully chosen test sections. In order to identify the determinants, each test section was characterised by features including the symmetry of the road layout geometry, surrounding features and the existing traffic signs and, last but not least, visibility of the road ahead. The survey data were used by the authors to perform analyses in order to group the speeds at the pedestrian refuges and relate them to specific factors and, finally, identify the determinants of speed reduction. In this way, the authors arrived at a conclusion that the performance of pedestrian refuges depends on a number of factors rather than solely on their geometric parameters. The analyses showed that the pedestrian refuge geometric parameters, features located in its proximity that influence the driver’s perception and placement of appropriate marking, can, in combination, result in achieving the desired speed reduction and ensure safety of non-motorised users. These hypotheses were tested on a stretch of a regional road in village area at three points of the process: before upgrading, after installation of pedestrian refuges, and after retrofitting of enhancements. Full article
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Article
Hydrogen Power Plant Site Selection Under Fuzzy Multicriteria Decision-Making (FMCDM) Environment Conditions
Symmetry 2019, 11(4), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11040596 - 25 Apr 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2194
Abstract
Fuel and energy are basic resources necessary to meet a country’s socioeconomic development needs; further, countries rich in these resources have the best premise for meeting the inputs of an economic system; however, this also poses many political challenges and threats to national [...] Read more.
Fuel and energy are basic resources necessary to meet a country’s socioeconomic development needs; further, countries rich in these resources have the best premise for meeting the inputs of an economic system; however, this also poses many political challenges and threats to national security. Vietnam is located in the Southeast Asian monsoon-humid tropical region and has diverse fuel-energy resources such as coal, petroleum, and hydropower, along with renewable energy sources such as solar energy, biomass energy, and geothermal energy. However, the reality of economic development in recent years shows complex fluctuations in fuel and energy usage, i.e., besides the export of coal and crude oil, Vietnam still has imported processed oil products. To overcome this issue, many hydrogen power plants will be built in the future. This is why we propose fuzzy multicriteria decision-making (FMCDM) for hydrogen power plant site selection in this research. All criteria affecting location selection are determined by experts and literature reviews, and the weight of all criteria are defined by a fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP). The technique for order of preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS) is a multicriteria decision analysis method, which is used for ranking potential locations in the final stage. As a result, the decision-making unit, DMU010 (DMU010), has become the optimal solution for building hydrogen power plants in Vietnam. A multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) model for hydrogen power plant site selection in Vietnam under fuzzy environment conditions is a contribution of this study. This research also provides useful tools for other types of renewable energies in Vietnam and other countries. Full article
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Article
A New DEA Model for Evaluation of Supply Chains: A Case of Selection and Evaluation of Environmental Efficiency of Suppliers
Symmetry 2019, 11(4), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11040565 - 18 Apr 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1754
Abstract
Supply Chain Management (SCM) represents an example of a complex multi-stage system. The SCM involves and connects different activities, from customer’s orders to received services, all with the aim of satisfying customers. The evaluation of a particular SCM is a complex problem because [...] Read more.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) represents an example of a complex multi-stage system. The SCM involves and connects different activities, from customer’s orders to received services, all with the aim of satisfying customers. The evaluation of a particular SCM is a complex problem because of the internally linked hierarchical activities and multiple entities. In this paper, the introduction of a non-radial DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) model for the evaluation of different components of SCM, primarily in terms of sustainability, is the main contribution. However, in order to confirm the novelty and benefits of this new model in the field of SCM, a literature review of past applications of DEA-based models and methods are also presented. The non-radial DEA model was applied for the selection and evaluation of the environmental efficiency of suppliers considering undesirable inputs and outputs resulting in a better ranking of suppliers. Via perturbation of the data used, behavior, as well as the benefits and weaknesses of the introduced model are presented through sensitivity analysis. Full article
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Article
Modelling Construction Site Cost Index Based on Neural Network Ensembles
Symmetry 2019, 11(3), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11030411 - 20 Mar 2019
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
Construction site overhead costs are key components of cost estimation in construction projects. The estimates are expected to be accurate, but there is a growing demand to shorten the time necessary to deliver cost estimates. The balancing (symmetry) between time of calculation and [...] Read more.
Construction site overhead costs are key components of cost estimation in construction projects. The estimates are expected to be accurate, but there is a growing demand to shorten the time necessary to deliver cost estimates. The balancing (symmetry) between time of calculation and satisfaction of reliable estimation was the reason for developing a new model for cost estimation in construction. This paper reports some results from the authors’ broad research on the modelling processes in engineering related to estimation of construction costs using artificial intelligence tools. The aim of this work was to develop a model capable of predicting a construction site cost index that would benefit from combining several artificial neural networks into an ensemble. Combining selected neural networks and forming the ensemble-based models compromised their strengths and weaknesses. With the use of data including training patterns collected on the basis of studies of completed construction projects, the authors investigated various types of neural networks in order to select the members of the ensemble. Finally, three models that were assessed in terms of performance and prediction quality were proposed. The results revealed that the developed models based on ensemble averaging and stacked generalisation met the expectations of knowledge generalisation and accuracy of prediction of site overhead cost index. The proposed models offer predictions of cost in an accepted error range and prove to deliver better predictions than those based on single neural networks. The developed tools can be used in the decision-making process regarding construction cost estimation. Full article
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Article
Comparative Study of Urban Area Growth: Determining the Key Criteria of Inner Urban Development
Symmetry 2019, 11(3), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11030406 - 20 Mar 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1491
Abstract
Urban population is steadily growing worldwide, while the number of people in Eastern Europe is decreasing. These two contradictory trends have outlined the proposal for sustainable solutions to solve civil engineering issues that are aimed at implementing the principles of sustainable development and [...] Read more.
Urban population is steadily growing worldwide, while the number of people in Eastern Europe is decreasing. These two contradictory trends have outlined the proposal for sustainable solutions to solve civil engineering issues that are aimed at implementing the principles of sustainable development and ensuring a better quality of urban life. When considering the problem that is encountered in Eastern European countries, a multi-criteria model for sustainable urban development has been designed and focused on planning and simulating an inner urban living environment. The suggested model has disclosed the social, economic, environmental, and sustainable components of the infrastructure that are necessary for developing inner urban areas. The components have been adapted and presented in three different size territories covering Lithuanian cities and towns. The applied expert evaluation method has assisted in determining the key criteria that should be considered in order to identify the most important inner areas of urban development. It is expected that this study will extend activities that are performed in the field of improvement of sustainability engineering processes and offer guidelines for other researchers investigating the areas of inner urban development. Full article
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Article
Using Stochastic Decision Networks to Assess Costs and Completion Times of Refurbishment Work in Construction
Symmetry 2019, 11(3), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11030398 - 19 Mar 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1236
Abstract
According to the concept of sustainable development, the process of extending the life-cycle of existing buildings (including historical ones) through their restoration not only generates benefits from their layer use but also—and primarily—constitutes a chance for their substance to survive for use by [...] Read more.
According to the concept of sustainable development, the process of extending the life-cycle of existing buildings (including historical ones) through their restoration not only generates benefits from their layer use but also—and primarily—constitutes a chance for their substance to survive for use by future generations. Building restoration projects are usually difficult to plan, primarily due to the limited amount of information on the technical condition of existing structures and their historical substance, which often makes the scope of renovation works difficult to determine. At the stage of planning such a project, it is, therefore, reasonable to consider various scenarios of its implementation, the occurrence of which can be both random and can be generated by the decision-maker. Unfortunately, in practice, the right tools for planning such projects are not used, which in effect generates problems associated with underestimating their completion time and costs. In subject literature, there are proposals of the use of stochastic and decision networks to assess the course of various projects that are characterised by having indeterminate structures. However, these networks are limited to modelling tasks that either occur purely randomly or are fully generated by decision-makers. There are no studies that enable the modelling and optimisation of the structure of a project while taking into consideration both the random and decision-based nature of carrying it out. In the article, the authors proposed a stochastic decision network that enables the correct modelling of projects with a multi-variant structure of being carried out. For the purpose of analysing the network model, elements of mathematical programming were used to determine optimal decisions (in terms of expected costs and completion times of carrying out a project) that control the structure of the project being modelled. The entirety of the authors’ proposal was backed by a calculation experiment on an example of a refurbishment construction project, which confirmed the application potential of the proposed approach. Full article
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Article
An Extension of the CODAS Approach Using Interval-Valued Intuitionistic Fuzzy Set for Sustainable Material Selection in Construction Projects with Incomplete Weight Information
Symmetry 2019, 11(3), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11030393 - 18 Mar 2019
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 1984
Abstract
Optimal selection of sustainable materials in construction projects can benefit several stakeholders in their respective industries with the triple bottom line (TBL) framework in a broader perspective of greater business value. Multiple criteria of social, environmental, and economic aspects should be essentially accounted [...] Read more.
Optimal selection of sustainable materials in construction projects can benefit several stakeholders in their respective industries with the triple bottom line (TBL) framework in a broader perspective of greater business value. Multiple criteria of social, environmental, and economic aspects should be essentially accounted for the optimal selection of materials involving the significant group of experts to avoid project failures. This paper proposes an evaluation framework for solving multi criteria decision making (MCDM) problems with incomplete weight information by extending the combinative distance assessment (CODAS) method with interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy numbers. To compute the unknown weights of the evaluation criteria, this paper presents an optimization model based on the interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy distance measure. In this study, we emphasize the importance of individual decision makers. To illustrate the proposed approach, an example of material selection in automotive parts industry is presented followed by a real case study of brick selection in sustainable building construction projects. The comparative study indicates the advantages of the proposed approach in comparison with the some relevant approaches. A sensitivity analysis of the proposed IVIF-CODAS method has been performed by changing the criteria weights, where the results show a high degree of stability. Full article
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Article
A New Hybrid MCDM Model: Sustainable Supplier Selection in a Construction Company
Symmetry 2019, 11(3), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11030353 - 08 Mar 2019
Cited by 63 | Viewed by 2742
Abstract
Sustainable development is one of the most important preconditions for preserving resources and balanced functioning of a complete supply chain in different areas. Taking into account the complexity of sustainable development and a supply chain, different decisions have to be made day-to-day, requiring [...] Read more.
Sustainable development is one of the most important preconditions for preserving resources and balanced functioning of a complete supply chain in different areas. Taking into account the complexity of sustainable development and a supply chain, different decisions have to be made day-to-day, requiring the consideration of different parameters. One of the most important decisions in a sustainable supply chain is the selection of a sustainable supplier and, often the applied methodology is multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM). In this paper, a new hybrid MCDM model for evaluating and selecting suppliers in a sustainable supply chain for a construction company has been developed. The evaluation and selection of suppliers have been carried out on the basis of 21 criteria that belong to all aspects of sustainability. The determination of the weight values of criteria has been performed applying the full consistency method (FUCOM), while a new rough complex proportional assessment (COPRAS) method has been developed to evaluate the alternatives. The rough Dombi aggregator has been used for averaging in group decision-making while evaluating the significance of criteria and assessing the alternatives. The obtained results have been checked and confirmed using a sensitivity analysis that implies a four-phase procedure. In the first phase, the change of criteria weight was performed, while, in the second phase, rough additive ratio assessment (ARAS), rough weighted aggregated sum product assessment (WASPAS), rough simple additive weighting (SAW), and rough multi-attributive border approximation area comparison (MABAC) have been applied. The third phase involves changing the parameter ρ in the modeling of rough Dombi aggregator, and the fourth phase includes the calculation of Spearman’s correlation coefficient (SCC) that shows a high correlation of ranks. Full article
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Article
A Hybrid Fuzzy Group Multi-Criteria Assessment of Structural Solutions of the Symmetric Frame Alternatives
Symmetry 2019, 11(2), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11020261 - 19 Feb 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
Structural designers that design buildings use different criteria to select the frames’ materiality and structural solutions. Very often, the primary test is the cost of construction. Sometimes, solutions are determined by the terms of structure, architectural preferences, technological needs, fire safety requirements, environmental [...] Read more.
Structural designers that design buildings use different criteria to select the frames’ materiality and structural solutions. Very often, the primary test is the cost of construction. Sometimes, solutions are determined by the terms of structure, architectural preferences, technological needs, fire safety requirements, environmental conditions, exploitation costs over the life of the building, ecological aspects, and experience, etc. This paper proposes an approach for analyzing the structural elements of buildings taking into account the impact on the environment using jointly incorporating subjective and objective aspects. The objective to combine the most important criteria into a single unit and carry out the overall assessment could be done by giving each variable a weighted value and perform a so-called multi-criteria analysis. This article shows the efficiency of the structural solution of the one-story building. The case study presents an investigation and comparison of five possible symmetrical structural solutions by multi-criteria assessment methods: The analysis of three steel frameworks differs majorly due to the beam-column characteristics, as well as precast RC frame structures case and combined steel beams and RC columns frame option. Possible solutions must meet all the essential requirements of the building, including mechanical resistance and stability. The obtained results show a broad assessment of the structural solutions of the building. Full article
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Article
Application of Fuzzy Analytical Network Process (ANP) and VIKOR for the Assessment of Green Agility Critical Success Factors in Dairy Companies
Symmetry 2019, 11(2), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11020250 - 16 Feb 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2595
Abstract
Manufacturing companies are facing rapid and unanticipated changes in their business environment. Most of these companies need to find new strategies to remain competitive in the market. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to integrate the Fuzzy Analytical Network Process (ANP) [...] Read more.
Manufacturing companies are facing rapid and unanticipated changes in their business environment. Most of these companies need to find new strategies to remain competitive in the market. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to integrate the Fuzzy Analytical Network Process (ANP) and VIKOR methods to evaluate the green agile factors and sub-factors in the dairy companies in Iran. To find the green agile factors and sub-factors, this study used the expert’s opinions and literature review. Data is collected from four dairy companies. The results of this study showed that the most important green agility factors are: trust-based relationship with suppliers, flexible production capacity, versatile workers, compliance with quality standards for a new product, and workers’ willingness to learn. In addition, the results indicated that the green agility organization is one of the strategies that help companies to stay in the market. To validate the results, this study used four methods, including TOPSIS, ARAS, EDAS, and MABAC. The necessity of a reaction to the increasing customer choices, environmental concerns, and competitiveness among manufacturers across the globe has engaged the industry to embrace innovative manufacturing strategies. Full article
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Article
Normalized Weighted Bonferroni Harmonic Mean-Based Intuitionistic Fuzzy Operators and Their Application to the Sustainable Selection of Search and Rescue Robots
Symmetry 2019, 11(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11020218 - 13 Feb 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1482
Abstract
In this paper, Normalized Weighted Bonferroni Mean (NWBM) and Normalized Weighted Bonferroni Harmonic Mean (NWBHM) aggregation operators are proposed. Besides, we check the properties thereof, which include idempotency, monotonicity, commutativity, and boundedness. As the intuitionistic fuzzy numbers are used as a basis for [...] Read more.
In this paper, Normalized Weighted Bonferroni Mean (NWBM) and Normalized Weighted Bonferroni Harmonic Mean (NWBHM) aggregation operators are proposed. Besides, we check the properties thereof, which include idempotency, monotonicity, commutativity, and boundedness. As the intuitionistic fuzzy numbers are used as a basis for the decision making to effectively handle the real-life uncertainty, we extend the NWBM and NWBHM operators into the intuitionistic fuzzy environment. By further modifying the NWBHM, we propose additional aggregation operators, namely the Intuitionistic Fuzzy Normalized Weighted Bonferroni Harmonic Mean (IFNWBHM) and the Intuitionistic Fuzzy Ordered Normalized Weighted Bonferroni Harmonic Mean (IFNONWBHM). The paper winds up with an empirical example of multi-attribute group decision making (MAGDM) based on triangular intuitionistic fuzzy numbers. To serve this end, we apply the IFNWBHM aggregation operator. Full article
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Article
Type-2 Multi-Fuzzy Sets and Their Applications in Decision Making
Symmetry 2019, 11(2), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11020170 - 01 Feb 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1577
Abstract
In a real-life scenario, it is undoable and unmanageable to solve a decision-making problem with the single stand-alone decision-aid method, expert assessment methodology or deterministic approaches. Such problems are often based on the suggestions or feedback of several experts. Usually, the feedback of [...] Read more.
In a real-life scenario, it is undoable and unmanageable to solve a decision-making problem with the single stand-alone decision-aid method, expert assessment methodology or deterministic approaches. Such problems are often based on the suggestions or feedback of several experts. Usually, the feedback of these experts are heterogeneous imperfect information collected from various more or less reliable sources. In this paper, we introduce the concept of multi-sets over type-2 fuzzy sets. We have tried to propose an extension of type-1 multi-fuzzy sets into a type-2 multi-fuzzy set (T2MFS). After defining T2MFS, we discuss the algebraic properties of these sets including set-theoretic operations such as complement, union, intersection, and others with examples. Subsequently, we define two distance measures over these sets and illustrate a decision-making problem which uses the idea of type-2 multi-fuzzy sets. Furthermore, an application of a medical diagnosis system based on multi-criteria decision making of T2MFS is illustrated with a real-life case study. Full article
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Article
Comparative Evaluation of Sustainable Design Based on Step-Wise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis (SWARA) and Best Worst Method (BWM) Methods: A Perspective on Household Furnishing Materials
Symmetry 2019, 11(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11010074 - 10 Jan 2019
Cited by 54 | Viewed by 2966
Abstract
For a few years, there has been an increasing consciousness to design structures that are concurrently economic and environmentally responsive. Eco-friendly inferences of building designs include lower energy consumption, reduction in CO2 emissions, assimilated energy in buildings and enhancement of indoor air [...] Read more.
For a few years, there has been an increasing consciousness to design structures that are concurrently economic and environmentally responsive. Eco-friendly inferences of building designs include lower energy consumption, reduction in CO2 emissions, assimilated energy in buildings and enhancement of indoor air quality. With the aim of fulfilling design objectives, designers normally encounter a situation in which the selection of the most appropriate material from a set of various material alternatives is essential. Sustainability has been developing as a new concept in all human activities to create a better balance between social, environmental and economic issues. Designing materials based on the sustainability concept is a key step to enable a better balance because there is no need to re-structure phases and procedures to make the system more efficient in comparison to previous models. Some of the most commonly used materials are household furnishing materials, which can be electrical devices, kitchen gears or general furnishing materials. The volume of production and consumption of these materials is considerable, therefore a newer sustainable plan for a better designed system is justifiable. In the literature, the application of multi-attribute decision-making (MADM) methods has been found to be very suitable for evaluating materials and developing general plans for them. This study contributes by applying two approaches based on MADM methods for weighting the criteria related to the sustainable design of household furnishing materials. Step-Wise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis (SWARA) and Best Worst Method (BWM) are two specialized and new methods for weighting criteria with different approaches. This paper has not only investigated the weighting of important and related criteria for sustainable design but has also evaluated the similarities and differences between the considered weighting methods. A comparative study of SWARA and BWM methods has never been conducted to date. The results show that, except pairwise comparisons, SWARA and BWM are certainly similar and in some cases SWARA can be more accurate and effective. Full article
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Article
Methods for Multiple-Attribute Group Decision Making with q-Rung Interval-Valued Orthopair Fuzzy Information and Their Applications to the Selection of Green Suppliers
Symmetry 2019, 11(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11010056 - 06 Jan 2019
Cited by 72 | Viewed by 2449
Abstract
In the practical world, there commonly exist different types of multiple-attribute group decision making (MAGDM) problems with uncertain information. Symmetry among some attributes’ information that is already known and unknown, and symmetry between the pure attribute sets and fuzzy attribute membership sets, can [...] Read more.
In the practical world, there commonly exist different types of multiple-attribute group decision making (MAGDM) problems with uncertain information. Symmetry among some attributes’ information that is already known and unknown, and symmetry between the pure attribute sets and fuzzy attribute membership sets, can be an effective way to solve this type of MAGDM problem. In this paper, we investigate four forms of information aggregation operators, including the Hamy mean (HM) operator, weighted HM (WHM) operator, dual HM (DHM) operator, and the dual-weighted HM (WDHM) operator with the q-rung interval-valued orthopair fuzzy numbers (q-RIVOFNs). Then, some extended aggregation operators, such as the q-rung interval-valued orthopair fuzzy Hamy mean (q-RIVOFHM) operator; q-rung interval-valued orthopairfuzzy weighted Hamy mean (q-RIVOFWHM) operator; q-rung interval-valued orthopair fuzzy dual Hamy mean (q-RIVOFDHM) operator; and q-rung interval-valued orthopair fuzzy weighted dual Hamy mean (q-RIVOFWDHM) operator are presented, and some of their precious properties are studied in detail. Finally, a real example for green supplier selection in green supply chain management is provided, to demonstrate the proposed approach and to verify its rationality and scientific nature. Full article
Article
New Analytic Solutions of Queueing System for Shared–Short Lanes at Unsignalized Intersections
Symmetry 2019, 11(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11010055 - 06 Jan 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1772
Abstract
Designing the crossroads capacity is a prerequisite for achieving a high level of service with the same sustainability in stochastic traffic flow. Also, modeling of crossroad capacity can influence on balancing (symmetry) of traffic flow. Loss of priority in a left turn and [...] Read more.
Designing the crossroads capacity is a prerequisite for achieving a high level of service with the same sustainability in stochastic traffic flow. Also, modeling of crossroad capacity can influence on balancing (symmetry) of traffic flow. Loss of priority in a left turn and optimal dimensioning of shared-short line is one of the permanent problems at intersections. A shared–short lane for taking a left turn from a priority direction at unsignalized intersections with a homogenous traffic flow and heterogeneous demands is a two-phase queueing system requiring a first in–first out (FIFO) service discipline and single-server service facility. The first phase (short lane) of the system is the queueing system M()/M(μ)/1/∞, whereas the second phase (shared lane) is a system with a binomial distribution service. In this research, we explicitly derive the probability of the state of a queueing system with a short lane of a finite capacity for taking a left turn and shared lane of infinite capacity. The presented formulas are under the presumption that the system is Markovian, i.e., the vehicle arrivals in both the minor and major streams are distributed according to the Poisson law, and that the service of the vehicles is exponentially distributed. Complex recursive operations in the two-phase queueing system are explained and solved in manuscript. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of the Influencing Factors on Job Satisfaction Based on Combination of PLS-SEM and F-MULTIMOORA Approach
Symmetry 2019, 11(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11010024 - 28 Dec 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3358
Abstract
A primary issue that is being discussed nowadays in organizations is continuous improvement of the organization itself, because the procedure of periodic evaluation is an important tool to maintain the improvement of the organization. An essential factor in any organization is the human [...] Read more.
A primary issue that is being discussed nowadays in organizations is continuous improvement of the organization itself, because the procedure of periodic evaluation is an important tool to maintain the improvement of the organization. An essential factor in any organization is the human resources as a key asset to guide organizations to sustain their competitive advantages by employing particular knowledge and skills to form a comprehensive and sustainable human resource management. Evaluation of job satisfaction has become a part of the strategic approach toward incorporating business policies and human resource actions in modern day organizations. The current research study presents a novel hybrid validation framework to evaluate and appraise the factors influencing job satisfaction based on the fuzzy MULTIMOORA approach and partial least-squares path modeling (PLS-PM). The proposed fuzzy MCDM technique and statistical method validate each other to present an optimal assessment of influencing factors in job satisfaction. Eventually, a real-world case study in regard to influential factors in job satisfaction has been suggested in this study, to show that the proposed framework is a practical and accurate method to tackle an assessment problem in a real-world application of influencing factors in job satisfaction in a cross-industrial multi-national construction and geotechnical engineering organization in Iran. Full article
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Article
Probabilistic Linguistic Preference Relation-Based Decision Framework for Multi-Attribute Group Decision Making
Symmetry 2019, 11(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11010002 - 20 Dec 2018
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2069
Abstract
With trending competition in decision-making process, linguistic decision-making is gaining attractive attention. Previous studies on linguistic decision-making have neglected the occurring probability (relative importance) of each linguistic term which causes unreasonable ranking of objects. Further, decision-makers’ (DMs) often face difficulties in providing apt [...] Read more.
With trending competition in decision-making process, linguistic decision-making is gaining attractive attention. Previous studies on linguistic decision-making have neglected the occurring probability (relative importance) of each linguistic term which causes unreasonable ranking of objects. Further, decision-makers’ (DMs) often face difficulties in providing apt preference information for evaluation. Motivated by these challenges, in this paper, we set our proposal on probabilistic linguistic preference relation (PLPR)-based decision framework. The framework consists of two phases viz., (a) missing value entry phase and (b) ranking phase. In phase (a), the missing values of PLPR are filled using a newly proposed automatic procedure and consistency of PLPR is ensured using a consistency check and repair mechanism. Following this, in phase (b), objects are ranked using newly proposed analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method under PLPR context. The practicality of the proposal is validated by using two numerical examples viz., green supplier selection problem for healthcare and the automobile industry. Finally, the strength and weakness of the proposal are discussed by comparing with similar methods. Full article
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Article
A New Methodology for Improving Service Quality Measurement: Delphi-FUCOM-SERVQUAL Model
Symmetry 2018, 10(12), 757; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym10120757 - 16 Dec 2018
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4365
Abstract
The daily requirements and needs imposed on the executors of logistics services imply the need for a higher level of quality. In this, the proper execution of all sustainability processes and activities plays an important role. In this paper, a new methodology for [...] Read more.
The daily requirements and needs imposed on the executors of logistics services imply the need for a higher level of quality. In this, the proper execution of all sustainability processes and activities plays an important role. In this paper, a new methodology for improving the measurement of the quality of the service consisting of three phases has been developed. The first phase is the application of the Delphi method to determine the quality dimension ranking. After that, in the second phase, using the FUCOM (full consistency method), we determined the weight coefficients of the quality dimensions. The third phase represents determining the level of quality using the SERVQUAL (service quality) model, or the difference between the established gaps. The new methodology considers the assessment of the quality dimensions of a large number of participants (customers), on the one hand, and experts’ assessments on the other hand. The methodology was verified through the research carried out in an express post company. After processing and analyzing the collected data, the Cronbach alpha coefficient for each dimension of the SERVQUAL model for determining the reliability of the response was calculated. To determine the validity of the results and the developed methodology, an extensive statistical analysis (ANOVA, Duncan, Signum, and chi square tests) was carried out. The integration of certain methods and models into the new methodology has demonstrated greater objectivity and more precise results in determining the level of quality of sustainability processes and activities. Full article
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Article
A Novel Approach for Green Supplier Selection under a q-Rung Orthopair Fuzzy Environment
Symmetry 2018, 10(12), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym10120687 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
With environmental issues becoming increasingly important worldwide, plenty of enterprises have applied the green supply chain management (GSCM) mode to achieve economic benefits while ensuring environmental sustainable development. As an important part of GSCM, green supplier selection has been researched in many literatures, [...] Read more.
With environmental issues becoming increasingly important worldwide, plenty of enterprises have applied the green supply chain management (GSCM) mode to achieve economic benefits while ensuring environmental sustainable development. As an important part of GSCM, green supplier selection has been researched in many literatures, which is regarded as a multiple criteria group decision making (MCGDM) problem. However, these existing approaches present several shortcomings, including determining the weights of decision makers subjectively, ignoring the consensus level of decision makers, and that the complexity and uncertainty of evaluation information cannot be adequately expressed. To overcome these drawbacks, a new method for green supplier selection based on the q-rung orthopair fuzzy set is proposed, in which the evaluation information of decision makers is represented by the q-rung orthopair fuzzy numbers. Combined with an iteration-based consensus model and the q-rung orthopair fuzzy power weighted average (q-ROFPWA) operator, an evaluation matrix that is accepted by decision makers or an enterprise is obtained. Then, a comprehensive weighting method can be developed to compute the weights of criteria, which is composed of the subjective weighting method and a deviation maximization model. Finally, the TODIM (TOmada de Decisao Interativa e Multicritevio) method, based on the prospect theory, can be extended into the q-rung orthopair fuzzy environment to obtain the ranking result. A numerical example of green supplier selection in an electric automobile company was implemented to illustrate the practicability and advantages of the proposed approach. Full article
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Review

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Review
Application of MCDM Methods in Sustainability Engineering: A Literature Review 2008–2018
Symmetry 2019, 11(3), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11030350 - 08 Mar 2019
Cited by 129 | Viewed by 6635
Abstract
Sustainability is one of the main challenges of the recent decades. In this regard, several prior studies have used different techniques and approaches for solving this problem in the field of sustainability engineering. Multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) is an important technique that [...] Read more.
Sustainability is one of the main challenges of the recent decades. In this regard, several prior studies have used different techniques and approaches for solving this problem in the field of sustainability engineering. Multiple criteria decision making (MCDM) is an important technique that presents a systematic approach for helping decisionmakers in this field. The main goal of this paper is to review the literature concerning the application of MCDM methods in the field of sustainable engineering. The Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection Database was chosen to identify 108 papers in the period of 2008–2018. The selected papers were classified into five categories, including construction and infrastructure, supply chains, transport and logistics, energy, and other. In addition, the articles were classified based on author, year, application area, study objective and problem, applied methods, number of published papers, and name of the journal. The results of this paper show that sustainable engineering is an area that is quite suitable for the use of MCDM. It can be concluded that most of the methods used in sustainable engineering are based on traditional approaches with a noticeable trend towards applying the theory of uncertainty, such as fuzzy, grey, rough, and neutrosophic theory. Full article
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