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 AS  Vol.11 No.3 , March 2020
“AniFair”: A GUI Based Software Tool for Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis—An Example of Assessing Animal Welfare
Abstract: Multi-criteria decision analysis deals with decision problems in which multiple criteria need to be considered. The criteria might be measured on different scales so that comparability is difficult. One approach to help the user to organize the problem and to reflect on his or her assessment on the decision is Measuring Attractiveness by a Categorical Based Evaluation TecHnique (MACBETH). Here the user needs to provide qualitative judgment about differences of attractiveness regarding pairs of options. MACBETH was implemented in the M-MACBETH software using the additive aggregation model. The present article introduces the software tool “AniFair” which combines the MACBETH approach with the Choquet integral as an aggregation function, because the Choquet integral enables the modeling of interaction between criteria. With the Choquet integral, the user can define constraints on the relative importance of criteria (Shapley value) and the interaction between criteria. In contrast to M-MACBETH, with every instance of “AniFair” the user is made available at least two aggregation level. “AniFair” provides Graphical User Interfaces for the entering of information. The software tool is introduced via an example from the Welfare Quality Assessment protocol for pigs. With this, “AniFair” is applied to real data that were collected from thirteen farms in Northern Germany by an animal welfare expert. The “AniFair” results enabled a division of the farms into five groups of comparable performance concerning the welfare principle “Good feeding”. Hereby, the results differed in how much the interaction between criteria contributed to the Choquet integral values. The shares varied from 5% to 55%. With this, the vulnerability of aggregation results towards relative importance of and interaction between criteria was stressed, as changes in the ranking due to the definition of constraints could be shown. All results were exported to human readable txt or csv files for further analyses, and advice could be given to the farmers on how to improve their welfare situation.
Cite this paper: Salau, J. , Friedrich, L. , Czycholl, I. and Krieter, J. (2020) “AniFair”: A GUI Based Software Tool for Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis—An Example of Assessing Animal Welfare. Agricultural Sciences, 11, 278-331. doi: 10.4236/as.2020.113018.
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