How to Compare Complex Alternatives

Apple. This image is CC0!

You can do this with a morphological box. In this post, I continue my recent post “Where to Eat Out or How to Find the Right Priorities.Just to recall: We want to find out which kind of restaurant is the best choice.

In our example, you might find the following features important.

  • Distance from home (you do not want to drive to far)
  • Cost of a dinner (it should not be too expensive)
  • Spiciness of food (not too spicy)
  • Vegetarian choices for a friend coming with you (a must)

Create a table again, each row one option and each column one feature. Into the columns, you put a rating. Put in “0” (worst), “1” (OK), or “2” (best). It is not advisable to use a wider scale here, because that will water down the result. Instead, you could use “3” for best, not using “2” at all. After putting in your numbers, add the rating points.

If a feature is very important, you can double the points there. In my example I have added a column with “Vegetarian bonus” and list the sum if “Vegetarian” is doubled.

Distance Cost Spiciness Vegetarian Sum Vegetarian bonus
Steak house

1

1

1

1

4

5

Fast food

2

2

2

0

5

5

Italian

1

2

1

2

6

8

Chinese

0

1

1

2

4

6

Indian

1

0

0

2

3

5

 

As you can see in this example, there is no difference regarding the most preferred choice whether you double the “Vegetarian” entry or not. In both cases, Italian wins.

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