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Volume 2, Number 3, August 2009

Eashwar Publications

Risk analysis of Decision makers attitude in Fuzzy PERT

G.Uthra

Research scholar, SCSVMV University, Department of Mathematics,

Saveetha Engineering College, Chennai, India.

Uthragopalsamy@yahoo.com

R.Sattanathan

P.G and Research Department of Mathematics, D.G.Vaishnav College, Chennai, India.

rsattanathan@gmail.com

Abstract

Among the problems in Operations Research, Scheduling problems are those with a lot of

applications. The duration in reality is often imprecise and the imprecision in the data is

critical for the scheduling procedures. Hence fuzzy approach draws active attention. In

this paper, we have discussed the risk analysis of Decision makers attitude in the FPERT

networks. The approach is illustrated by a numerical example.

Key words: FPERT, Triangular fuzzy numbers, Trapezoidal fuzzy numbers, Linguistic variable.

1. Introduction

The deterministic version of the PERT algorithms is well known for many years already.

Anyhow, the determinism of the model can be questioned in many practical situations.

The main goal of this paper is to generalize the well known model and include uncertain and

vague phenomena. This uncertainty is not based on statistical dispersion of possible values and,

consequently, application of probabilistic methods is not effective. Classical project scheduling

methods such as CPM, PERT etc., involve many drawbacks in estimating the duration of the

activities and they lack the ability of modeling practical projects. Fuzzy theory can be applied

effectively to deal with such uncertainties.

Fuzzy Set theory was introduced by L.A.Zadeh in 1965 and this opened promising new horizons

to different scientific areas. Since then it has been finding its way in almost all fields where

uncertainty prevails.

Classical PERT deals with problems of quantitative data and it does not support if the data is

qualitative. In other words, it fails if the data is expressed in linguistic terms like very fast,

extremely fast, etc. Hence the application of fuzzy theory is mandatory and the problem can be

solved by Fuzzy PERT (FPERT).

International Journal of Algorithms, Computing and Mathematics

16

In this paper, we consider a PERT situation in a fuzzy environment. We extend the method using

triangular fuzzy numbers dealt in [6] to trapezoidal fuzzy numbers. We then discuss the risk

analysis of Decision makers attitude in the FPERT networks. The method is illustrated by a

numerical example.

2. Definitions and Formulations

Definition 2.1 A Triangular fuzzy number can be defined by a triplet (a, b, c) whose membership

function is given by

0, x < a

(x a)/(b-a) b x a s s

) (x = (x c)/(b-c) c x b s s

0, x > c

Definition 2.2 A trapezoidal fuzzy number is a fuzzy number (a

1

, a

2

, a

3

, a

4

) and its membership

function is defined as

(x) = (x - a

1

) / (a

2

- a

1

) if a

1

x a

2

1 if a

2

x a

3

(x a

4

) / (a

3

a

4

) if a

3

x a

4

0 otherwise

From the definition of triangular and trapezoidal fuzzy numbers it is clear that the triangular

fuzzy number is special case of trapezoidal number.

Definition 2.3. A linguistic variable is variable whose values are linguistic terms.

The concept of a linguistic variable is very useful in dealing with situations which are too

complex to be reasonably described in conventional quantitative expressions. For example,

height is a linguistic variable its values can be very high, high, medium, low, very low etc. The

algorithm dealt in [6] for triangular fuzzy numbers is being extended for trapezoidal fuzzy

numbers.

The Step by step procedure of the algorithm is given as follows:

- Construct the membership function =

a b

a x

--------------(1)

where a is the lowest time estimate and b is the highest time estimate.

- Convert the linguistic expressions (qualitative data) in to quantitative data in

the form (A,B,C), where A,B,C are numerical values.

- Express the situation in the matrix form as below.

(

(

(

(

.. .. ..

9 8 7

6 5 4

3 2 1

a a a

a a a

a a a

- Form the membership matrix

A

using (1).

- Find the normalized matrix.

- Find the minimum value in the matrix for each activity (i-j).

i-j

i-k

j-k

.

Risk analysis of Decision makers attitude in Fuzzy PERT

17

- Consider the various paths of the project and sum up the minimum values of

the corresponding paths. The path with maximum sum is the critical path.

The method mentioned above can be extended to trapezoidal fuzzy numbers since trapezoidal

fuzzy numbers are more stable than triangular fuzzy numbers. For example, consider the average

marks secured by a student in an examination. The linguistic term average marks can be

represented as (50, 60, 70) using triangular fuzzy numbers. From this we can say that average

mark secured by a student is 60. But the same can be represented as (50, 60, 65, 70) using

trapezoidal fuzzy numbers. From this we say that the average marks of secured by a student

ranges between 60 and 65. The advantage of using trapezoidal fuzzy numbers is that it attains

the maximum membership value 1 between two points (i.e.) in an interval whereas a triangular

fuzzy number attains the same at only one point.

The concept using trapezoidal fuzzy numbers as the activity duration presented by Dubois and

Prade[2] is applied to a FPERT network.

Example

Fig.1

The critical path cannot be found until the linguistic expressions are converted in to quantitative

values. For that we use the following linguistic table.

Table-1

Linguistic expressions Value

Absolutely fast (1 2 3)

Fast (4 5 6)

Medium (7 8 9)

Slow (10 11 12)

1

2

3

4

(5,10,10,15) (6,8,10,11)

(Fast, Medium, Slow,

Slow)

(Absolutely fast, Fast,

Fast, Medium)

(1,3,5)

(2,4,5,6)

International Journal of Algorithms, Computing and Mathematics

18

Absolutely slow (13 14 15)

In this problem we have used five as the maximum number of intervals to form the table.

Minimum time estimate is 2 and maximum time estimate is 15 and hence we construct the

membership function using (1) as = (x-2)/(15-2) = (x-2)/13

(1) Express the situation in matrix form as given below.

2 5 5 8

5 10 10 15

5 9 10 11

2 4 5 6

6 8 10 11

(2) Form the membership matrix

A

0 3/13 3/13 6/13

3/13 8/13 8/13 1

3/13 7/13 8/13 9/13

0 2/13 3/13 4/13

4/13 6/13 8/13 9/13

(3) Find the normalized matrix.

0 0.115 0.1 0.1463

0.3 0.308 0.267 0.3171

0.3 0.269 0.267 0.2195

0 0.077 0.1 0.0976

0.4 0.231 0.267 0.2195

(4) Take the minimum value in each row.

Table.2

Activity 1-2 1-3 2-3 2-4 3-4

Min.Value 0 0.267 0.2195 0 0.2195

(5) Find the sum of minimum values for each path.

Sum for the path 1-2-4 = 0 + 0 = 0

Sum for the path 1-3-4 = 0.267 + 0.2195 = 0.4865

Sum for the path 1-2-3-4 = 0 + 0.2195 + 0.2195 = 0.4390

Maximum Sum = 0.4865. Hence the critical path is 1-3-4.

3. Risk analysis

1-2

1-3

2-3

2-4

3-4

A =

1-2

1-3

2-3

2-4

3-4

A

=

1-2

1-3

2-3

2-4

3-4

Risk analysis of Decision makers attitude in Fuzzy PERT

19

The method presented in the previous section gives the critical path in a FPERT network. But

this does not explain the decision makers attitude towards risk and uncertainty. This can be

achieved by applying linguistic approach to those problems.

Risk analysis of Decision makers attitude in FPERT network uses the notion of extreme

optimism and pessimism. We consider the linguistic terms of risk attitudes for trapezoidal fuzzy

numbers adopted in [5]

Table -3

Linguistic terms Trapezoidal fuzzy numbers (a

1

, a

2

, a

3,

a

4

)

For benefit criteria For cost criteria

Absolutely optimistic (a

1

, a

3

, a

4

, a

4

) (a

1

, a

1

, a

2

, a

4

)

Very optimistic (a

1

, [a

2

+3a

3

] /4, [a

3

+3a

4

] /4, a

4

) (a

1

, [a

2

+3a

1

] /4, [a

3

+3a

2

] /4,a

4

)

Optimistic (a

1

, [a

2

+a

3

] /2, [a

3

+a

4

] /2, a

4

) (a

1

, [a

2

+a

1

] /2, [a

3

+a

2

] /2,a

4

)

Fairly optimistic (a

1

, [3a

2

+a

3

] /4, [3a

3

+a

4

] /4, a

4

) (a

1

, [3a

2

+a

1

] /4, [3a

3

+a

2

] /4,a

4

)

Neutral (a

1

, a

2

, a

3

, a

4

) (a

1

, a

2

, a

3

, a

4

)

Fairly pessimistic (a

1

, [3a

2

+a

1

] /4, [3a

3

+a

2

] /4, a

4

) (a

1

, [3a

2

+a

3

] /4, [3a

3

+a

4

] /4,a

4

)

Pessimistic (a

1

, [a

2

+a

1

] /2, [a

3

+a

2

] /2, a

4

) (a

1

, [a

2

+a

3

] /2, [a

3

+a

4

] /2,a

4

)

Very pessimistic (a

1

, [a

2

+3a

1

] /4, [a

3

+3a

2

] /4, a

4

) (a

1

, [a

2

+3a

3

] /4, [a

3

+3a

4

] /4,a

4

)

Absolutely pessimistic (a

1

, a

1

, a

2

, a

4

) (a

1

, a

3

, a

4

, a

4

)

Since critical path is the path of longest duration, it comes under benefit criteria. Using the

trapezoidal fuzzy numbers from the table-3 we get the following results.

Table-4

Decision makers attitude Maximum

Sum

Critical

path

Absolutely optimistic 0.4760 1-3-4

Very optimistic 0.4953 1-3-4

Optimistic 0.5052 1-3-4

Fairly optimistic 0.5019 1-3-4

Neutral 0.4865 1-3-4

Fairly pessimistic 0.4954 1-3-4

Pessimistic 0.5052 1-3-4

Very pessimistic 0.4954 1-3-4

Absolutely pessimistic 0.5195 1-3-4

From the table, any decision maker ranging from and extreme optimist to an extreme pessimist

will choose 1-3-4 as the critical path.

Conclusion

FPERT deals with the uncertainties prevailing in the PERT network. In this paper, a new

method based on linguistic expressions is presented for project scheduling in a fuzzy

environment. We have also expressed the risk analysis of the Decision makers attitude in the

context of FPERT networks. We hope this method will be useful to tackle problems of FPERT

networks involving linguistic Variables.

International Journal of Algorithms, Computing and Mathematics

20

References

[1]. Ahmad Soltani and Rasoul Haji, A project scheduling method based on Fuzzy theory, Journal of Industrial

and Systems Engineering, Vol.1, No.1.pp.70-80.

[2]. Dubois.D and Prade.H, 1985, An Approach to Computerised Processing of Uncertainty, Plenum Press, New

York.

[3]. George.J.Klir and Bo Yuan, 1995, Fuzzy sets and Fuzzy logic Prentice Hall of India, 2001.

[4]. Norman Fenton and Wei Wang, 2006, Risk analysis for multi criteria decision making, Knowledge based

systems, 19, pp. 430 437.

[5]. Uthra.G and Sattanathan.R, 2008, Risk analysis for Multi Criteria Decision Making using trapezoidal fuzzy

numbers, Proceedings of the National Conference on Fuzzy Mathematics and Graph theory, pp.168-174.

[6]. Uthra.G and Sattanathan.R, 2008, An analysis of Decision makers attitude in the Fuzzy PERT network,

Vol.2, pp. 289-293.

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