# On Linear Interdependences in MOP ∗ Christer Carlsson Robert Full´er ```On Linear Interdependences in MOP ∗
Christer Carlsson
e-mail: ccarlsso@ra.abo.fi
Robert Fullér
e-mail: rfuller@mail.abo.fi
Abstract
We consider multiple objective programming (MOP) problems with linearly interdependent objectives, i.e. the case when the values of an objective
function are derived from linear combinations of the values of other objectives functions.
1
MOP Problems with Linearly Interdependent Objectives
In their classical text Theory of Games and Economic Behavior John von Neumann
and Oskar Morgenstern (1947) described the problem with interdependence; in
their outline of a social exchange economy they discussed the case of two or more
persons exchanging goods with each others (page 11):
. . . then the results for each one will depend in general not merely upon
his own actions but on those of others as well. Thus each participant
attempts to maximize a function . . . of which he does not control all
variables. This is certainly no maximum problem, but a peculiar and
disconcerting mixture of several conflicting maximum problems. Every participant is guided by another principle and neither determines
all variables which affects his interest.
This kind of problem is nowhere dealt with in classical mathematics.
We emphasize at the risk of being pedantic that this is no conditional
maximum problem, no problem of the calculus of variations, of functional analysis, etc. It arises in full clarity, even in the most ”elementary” situations, e.g., when all variables can assume only a finite
number of values.
∗
published in: Proceedings of CIFT’95, June 8-10, 1995, Trento, Italy, University of Trento, 1995
48-52.
1
The interdependence is part of the economic theory and all market economies, but
in most modelling approaches in multiple criteria decision making there seems to
be an implicit assumption that objectives should be independent. This appears to
be the case, if not earlier than at least at the moment when we have to select some
optimal compromise among the set of nondominated decision alternatives. Milan
Zeleny  - and many others - recognizes one part of the interdependence (page
1),
Multiple and conflicting objectives, for example, ”minimize cost” and
”maximize the quality of service” are the real stuff of the decision
maker’s or manager’s daily concerns. Such problems are more complicated than the convenient assumptions of economics indicate. Improving achievement with respect to one objective can be accomplished
only at the expense of another.
but not the other part: objectives could support each others. We will in the following explore the consequences of allowing objectives to be interdependent.
Objective functions of a multiple objective programming problem are usually considered to be independent from each other, i.e. they depend only on the decision
variable x. A typical statement of an independent MOP is
max{f1 (x), . . . , fk (x)}
(1)
x∈X
where fi is the i-th objective function, x is the decision variable, and X is a subset,
usually defined by functional inequalities.
However, as has been shown in some earlier work by by Carlsson and Fullér [1, 2,
3], and Felix , there are management issues and negotiation problems, in which
one often encounters the necessity to formulate MOP models with interdependent
objective functions, in such a way that the objective functions are determined not
only by the decision variables but also by one or more other objective functions.
Suppose now that the objectives of (1) are interdependent, and the value of an
objective function is determined by a linear combination of the values of other
objectives functions. That is
fi (x) = fi (x) +
k
αij fj (x), 1 ≤ i ≤ k
(2)
j=1, j=i
or, in matrix form






f1 (x)
f2 (x)
..
.
f3 (x)


 
 
=
 
 
1 α12 . . . α1k
α21 1 . . . α2k
..
..
..
..
.
.
.
.
αk1 αk2 . . . 1
2






f1 (x)
f2 (x)
..
.
fk (x)






where αij is a real numbers denoting the grade of interdependency between fi and
fj .
If αij &gt; 0 then we say that fi is supported by fj ; if αij &lt; 0 then we say that fi is
hindered by fj ; if αij = 0 then we say that fi is independent from fj .
In such cases, i.e. when the feed-backs from the objectives are directly proportional
to their independent values, then we say that the objectives are linearly interdependent. The matrix of interdependences, (αij ), denoted by I(f1 , . . . , fk ), is called
the interdependency matrix of (1). It is clear that if αij = 0, ∀i = j, i.e.



I(f1 , . . . , fk ) = 



1 0 ... 0
0 1 ... 0 

.. .. .. .. 

. . . . 
0 0 ... 1
then we have an MOP problem with independent objective functions.
The grade of interdependency, denoted by ∆(fi ), of an objective function fi is
defined by 
∆(fi ) =
sign(αji ) =
i=j
1−
αji &gt;0,i=j
1
αji &lt;0
i.e. ∆(fi ) is nothing else that the number of objectives supported by fi minus the
number of objectives hindered by fi , i = 1, . . . , k.
If ∆(fi ) is positive and large then fi supports a majority of the objectives, if ∆(fi )
is negative and large then fi is in conflict with a majority of the objectives, if ∆(fi )
is positive and small then fi supports more objectives than it hinders, and if ∆(fi )
is negative and small then fi hinders more objectives than it supports. Finally, if
∆(fi ) = 0 then fi is independent from the others or supports the same number of
objectives as it hinders.
Taking into consideration the linear interdependences among the objective functions (2), (1) turns into the following independent problem
max{f1 (x), . . . , fk (x)}
x∈X
(3)
It is clear that the solution-sets of (1) and (3) are usually not identical.
To explain the issue more exactly, consider a three-objective problem with linearly
interdependent objective functions
max{f1 (x), f2 (x), f3 (x)}
x∈X
3
(4)
Taking into consideration that the objectives are linearly interdependent, the interdependent values of the objectives can be expressed by
f1 (x) = f1 (x) + α12 f2 (x) + α13 f3 (x)
f2 (x) = f2 (x) + α21 f1 (x) + α23 f3 (x)
f3 (x) = f3 (x) + α31 f1 (x) + α32 f2 (x)
That is





f1 (x)
1 α12 α13
f1 (x)
  


1 α23   f2 (x) 
 f2 (x)  =  α21
α31 α32 1
f3 (x)
f3 (x)
For example, depending on the values of αij we can have the following simple
linear interdependences among the objectives of (4)
• if α12 = 0 then we say that f1 is independent from f2 ;
• if α12 &gt; 0 then we say that f2 unilaterally supports f1 ;
• if if α12 &lt; 0 then we say that f2 hinders f1 ;
• if α12 &gt; 0 and α21 &gt; 0 then we say that f1 and f2 mutually support each
others;
• if α12 &lt; 0 and α21 &lt; 0 then we say that f1 and f2 are conflicting;
• if α12 + α21 = 0 then we say that f1 are f2 are in a trade-off relation;
It is clear, for example, that if f2 unilaterally supports f1 then the bigger the value
of f2 (supporting objective function) the bigger its support to f1 (supported objective function).
To illustrate our ideas consider the following simple decision problem.
max{x, 1 − x}
(5)
x ∈ [0, 1]
Choosing the minimum-norm to aggregate the values of objective functions this
problem has a unique solution x∗ = 1/2 and the optimal values of the objective
functions are (0.500, 0.500).
Suppose that for example f1 is unilaterally supported by f2 on the whole decision
space [0, 1] and the degree of support is given by
f1 (x) = f1 (x) + 1/2f2 (x) = x + 1/2(1 − x) = 1/2 + x/2
4
Then (5) turns into the following problem
max{1/2 + x/2, 1 − x}
x ∈ [0, 1]
Choosing the minimum-norm to aggregate the values of objective functions this
problem has a unique solution x∗ = 1/3 and the optimal values of the objective
functions are (0.667, 0.667).
Suppose now that f1 and f2 support each other mutually, i.e. the bigger the value
of f1 the bigger its support to f2 and vica versa. The degrees of supports are given
by
f1 (x) = f1 (x) + 1/2f2 (x) = x + 1/2(1 − x) = 1/2(1 + x)
f2 (x) = f2 (x) + 1/2sf1 (x) = (1 − x) + 1/2x = 1 − x/2
In this case our interdependent problem turns into
max{1/2(1 + x), 1 − x/2}
x ∈ [0, 1]
Choosing the minimum-norm to aggregate the values of objective functions this
problem has a unique solution x∗ = 1/2 and the optimal values of the objective
functions are (0.750, 0.750).
Suppose now that f2 hinders f1 , i.e. the bigger the value of f2 the bigger its negative feed-back to f1 . The degree of hindering is
f (x) = f1 (x) − 1/2(1 − x) = x − 1/2 + 1/2x = 3/2x − 1/2
So our interdependent problem turns into
max{3/2x − 1/2, 1 − x}
x ∈ [0, 1]
Choosing the minimum-norm to aggregate the values of objective functions this
problem has a unique solution x∗ = 3/5 and the optimal values of the objective
functions are (0.400, 0.400).
Suppose now that f2 hinders f1 , but f1 supports f2
f1 (x) = f1 (x) − 1/2f2 (x) = x − 1/2(1 − x) = 3/2x − 1/2
f2 (x) = f2 (x) + 1/2f1 (x) = (1 − x) + 1/2x = 1 − x/2
5
So our interdependent problem turns into
max{3/2x − 1/2, 1 − x/2}
x ∈ [0, 1]
Choosing the minimum-norm to aggregate the values of objective functions this
problem has a unique solution x∗ = 3/4 and the optimal values of the objective
functions are (0.625, 0.625).
These findings can be summarized as follows
optimal values
f1 and f2 are independent
f1 is supported by f2
f1 and f2 support each other mutually
f2 hinders f1
f2 hinders f1 and f1 supports f2
(0.500, 0.500)
(0.667, 0.667)
(0.750, 0.750)
(0.400, 0.400)
(0.625, 0.625)
Remark 1 In this paper we consider only linearly interdependent objectives with
real-time feed-backs. It should be noted, however, that in negotiation processes the
feed-backs from other objectives are time-dependent and the interdependent value
of an objective function at time t can depend on the independent values of other
objectives at time t − 1, . . . t − k. This will be the subject of future research.
References
 C.Carlsson and R.Fullér, Fuzzy if-then rules for modeling interdependencies in FMOP problems, in: Proceedings of EUFIT’94 Conference,
September 20-23, 1994 Aachen, Germany, Verlag der Augustinus Buchhandlung, Aachen, 1994 1504-1508.
 C.Carlsson and R.Fullér, Interdependence in fuzzy multiple objective
programming, Fuzzy Sets and Systems 65(1994) 19-29.
 C.Carlsson and R.Fullér, Multiple Criteria Decision Making: The Case
for Interdependence, Computers &amp; Operations Research 22(1995) 251260.
 R.Felix, Relationships between goals in multiple attribute decision making, Fuzzy sets and Systems, 67(1994) 47-52.
 J. von Neumann and O. Morgenstern, Theory of Games and Economic
Behavior, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1947.
6
 M.Zeleny, Multiple Criteria Decision Making, McGraw-Hill, NewYork, 1982.
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