Aggregation Functions for Engineering Design Trade-offs

Michael J. Scott and Erik K. Antonsson

Fuzzy Sets and Systems
Volume 99, Number 3 (1998), Pages 253-264.


The choice of an aggregation function is a common problem in Multi Attribute Decision Making (MADM) systems.  The Method of Imprecision (MoI) is a formal theory for the manipulation of preliminary design information that represents preferences among design alternatives with the mathematics of fuzzy sets.  The MoI formulates the preliminary design problem as a MADM problem.  To date, two aggregation functions have been developed for the MoI, one representing a compensating strategy and one a non-compensating strategy.  Much of the prior fuzzy sets research on aggregation functions has been inappropriate for application to engineering design.  In this paper, the selection of an aggregation function for MADM schemes is discussed within the context of the MoI.  The general restrictions on design-appropriate aggregation functions are outlined, and a family of functions, modeling a range of trade-off strategies, is presented.  The results are illustrated with an example.