What is it about?

Combining intuitionistic fuzzy theory, the Fuzzy Delphi Method and the fuzzy analytical hierarchical process (AHP), this study develops an intuitionistic fuzzy AHP (IFAHP) method. For the Fuzzy Delphi Method, the judgments of experts and representatives on criterion weights are made by linguistic variables and quantified by intuitionistic fuzzy theory, which is also used to weight the importance of experts and representatives. This process generates the entropy weights of criteria, which are combined with indices values and weights to rank the alternatives by the fuzzy AHP method. The IFAHP method was used to select the optimal paradigm of mangroves for treating municipal wastewater. The entropy weights were entrained by the valid evaluation of 64 experts and representatives via online survey. Natural mangroves were found to be the optimal paradigm for municipal wastewater treatment. By assigning different weights to the criteria, sensitivity analysis shows that natural mangroves remain to be the optimal paradigm under most scenarios.

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Why is it important?

This method has the advantage over traditional fuzzy AHP since it integrates the opinions of different experts on the importance of various criteria and the final ranking of the alternatives is configured by multi-dimensional scaling (MDS), which allows to inspect the clustering of alternatives. In particular, the importance of experts is also weighted based on their knowledge on the questions. Therefore, the method inventively integrate multi-criteria, indices value of waste- water treatment, expert opinion and their importance in prioritizing alternatives, while current methods tend to ignore one aspect or more in prioritization.


This study stresses the importance of mangroves for wastewater treatment. Decision-makers need to contemplate mangrove reforestation projects, especially where mangroves are highly deforested but wastewater discharge is uncontrolled. The IFAHP method is ex- pected to be applied in other multi-criteria decision-making cases.

PhD Xiaoguang Ouyang
Chinese University of Hong Kong

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This page is a summary of: Intuitionistic fuzzy analytical hierarchical processes for selecting the paradigms of mangroves in municipal wastewater treatment, Chemosphere, December 2017, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.12.102.
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