Date of Award

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Nidal Abu-Zahra

Second Advisor

Wilkistar Otieno

Committee Members

Hamid Seifoddini, Xiaohang Yue, Matthew Petering


Decision making, Fuzzy decision making method, Fuzzy TOPSIS, Materials selection, Multiple criteria decision making (MCDM), Pythagorean Fuzzy Numbers PFN)


The process of materials’ selection is very critical during the initial stages of designing manufactured products. Inefficient decision-making outcomes in the material selection process could result in poor quality of products and unnecessary costs. In the last century, numerous materials have been developed for manufacturing mechanical components in different industries. Many of these new materials are similar in their properties and performances, thus creating great challenges for designers and engineers to make accurate selections. Our main objective in this work is to assist decision makers (DMs) within the manufacturing field to evaluate materials alternatives and to select the best alternative for specific manufacturing purposes.

In this research, new hybrid fuzzy Multiple Criteria Group Decision Making (MCGDM) methods are proposed for the material selection problem. The proposed methods tackle some challenges that are associated with the material selection decision making process, such as aggregating decision makers’ (DMs) decisions appropriately and modeling uncertainty. In the proposed hybrid models, a novel aggregation approach is developed to convert DMs crisp decisions to Pythagorean fuzzy sets (PFS). This approach gives more flexibility to DMs to express their opinions than the traditional fuzzy and intuitionistic sets (IFS). Then, the proposed aggregation approach is integrated with a ranking method to solve the Pythagorean Fuzzy Multi Criteria Decision Making (PFMCGDM) problem and rank the material alternatives. The ranking methods used in the hybrid models are the Pythagorean Fuzzy TOPSIS (The Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) and Pythagorean Fuzzy COPRAS (COmplex PRoportional Assessment). TOPSIS and COPRAS are selected based on their effectiveness and practicality in dealing with the nature of material selection problems.

In the aggregation approach, the Sugeno Fuzzy measure and the Shapley value are used to fairly distribute the DMs weight in the Pythagorean Fuzzy numbers. Additionally, new functions to calculate uncertainty from DMs recommendations are developed using the Takagai-Sugeno approach. The literature reveals some work on these methods, but to our knowledge, there are no published works that integrate the proposed aggregation approach with the selected MCDM ranking methods under the Pythagorean Fuzzy environment for the use in materials selection problems. Furthermore, the proposed methods might be applied, due to its novelty, to any MCDM problem in other areas.

A practical validation of the proposed hybrid PFMCGDM methods is investigated through conducting a case study of material selection for high pressure turbine blades in jet engines. The main objectives of the case study were: 1) to investigate the new developed aggregation approach in converting real DMs crisp decisions into Pythagorean fuzzy numbers; 2) to test the applicability of both the hybrid PFMCGDM TOPSIS and the hybrid PFMCGDM COPRAS methods in the field of material selection.

In this case study, a group of five DMs, faculty members and graduate students, from the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, were selected to participate as DMs. Their evaluations fulfilled the first objective of the case study. A computer application for material selection was developed to assist designers and engineers in real life problems. A comparative analysis was performed to compare the results of both hybrid MCGDM methods. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to show the robustness and reliability of the outcomes obtained from both methods. It is concluded that using the proposed hybrid PFMCGDM TOPSIS method is more effective and practical in the material selection process than the proposed hybrid PFMCGDM COPRAS method. Additionally, recommendations for further research are suggested.