Bayesian best-worst method: A probabilistic group decision making model

Majid Mohammadi*, Jafar Rezaei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)
200 Downloads (Pure)


The best-worst method (BWM) is a multi-criteria decision-making method which finds the optimal weights of a set of criteria based on the preferences of only one decision-maker (DM) (or evaluator). However, it cannot amalgamate the preferences of multiple decision-makers/evaluators in the so-called group decision-making problem. A typical way of aggregating the preferences of multiple DMs is to use the average operator, e.g., arithmetic or geometric mean. However, averages are sensitive to outliers and provide restricted information regarding the overall preferences of all DMs. In this paper, a Bayesian BWM is introduced to find the aggregated final weights of criteria for a group of DMs at once. To this end, the BWM framework is meaningfully viewed from a probabilistic angle, and a Bayesian hierarchical model is tailored to compute the weights in the presence of a group of DMs. We further introduce a new ranking scheme for decision criteria, called credal ranking, where a confidence level is assigned to measure the extent to which a group of DMs prefers one criterion over one another. A weighted directed graph visualizes the credal ranking based on which the interrelation of criteria and confidences are merely understood. The numerical example validates the results obtained by the Bayesian BWM while it yields much more information in comparison to that of the original BWM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102075
JournalOmega (United Kingdom)
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Bayesian hierarchical model
  • Best-worst method
  • Generalizability
  • Group decision-making
  • Multi-criteria decision-making


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