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Annika Kangas (email), Jyrki Kangas, Jouni Pykäläinen

Outranking methods as tools in strategic natural resources planning

Kangas A., Kangas J., Pykäläinen J. (2001). Outranking methods as tools in strategic natural resources planning. Silva Fennica vol. 35 no. 2 article id 597. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.597


Two outranking methods, ELECTRE III and PROMETHEE II, commonly used as decision-aid in various environmental problems, and their applications to decision support for natural resources management are presented. These methods represent ‘the European school’ of multi-criteria decision making (MCDM), as opposed to ‘the American school’, represented by, for instance, the AHP method. On the basis of a case study, outranking methods are compared to so far more usually applied techniques based on the ideas of multi attribute utility theory (MAUT). The outranking methods have been recommended for situations where there is a finite number of discrete alternatives to be chosen among. The number of decision criteria and decision makers may be large. An important advantage of outranking methods, when compared to decision support techniques most often applied in today’s natural resources management, is the ability to deal with ordinal and more or less descriptive information on the alternative plans to be evaluated. Furthermore, the uncertainty concerning the values of the criterion variables can be taken into account using fuzzy relations, determined by indifference and preference thresholds. The difficult interpretation of the results, on the other hand, is the main drawback of the outranking methods.

uncertainty; fuzzy relations; multicriteria decision support; multiple-use planning

Author Info
  • Kangas, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus Research Station, P.O. Box 44, FIN-69101 Kannus, Finland E-mail annika.kangas@metla.fi (email)
  • Kangas, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus Research Station, P.O. Box 44, FIN-69101 Kannus, Finland E-mail jk@nn.fi
  • Pykäläinen, University of Joensuu, Faculty of Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail jp@nn.fi

Received 24 January 2000 Accepted 23 January 2001 Published 31 December 2001

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Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.597 | Download PDF

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