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Weight Determination of Sustainable Development Indicators Using a Global Sensitivity Analysis Method

Luan, Wenfei, Lu, Ling, Li, Xin, Ma, Chunfeng
Sustainability 2017 v.9 no.2
algorithms, entropy, quantitative analysis, sustainable development, uncertainty
Sustainable development (SD) evaluations have attracted considerable attention from governments and scientific communities around the world. The objective and quantitative calculation of the importance of sustainable assessment indicators is a key problem in the accurate evaluation of SD. Traditional methods fail to quantify the coupling effects among indicators. This paper presents a weight determination approach based on the global sensitivity analysis algorithm known as the extended Fourier amplitude sensitivity test (EFAST). This method is efficient and robust and is not only able to quantify the sensitivity of the evaluation indictors to the target, but can also quantitatively describe the uncertainties among the indictors. In this paper, we analyze the sensitivity of 18 indicators in a multi-index comprehensive evaluation model and weigh the indicators in the system according to their importance. To verify the feasibility and advantages of this new method, we compare the evaluation result with the traditional entropy method. The comparison shows that the EFAST algorithm can provide greater detail in an SD evaluation. Additionally, the EFAST algorithm is more specific in terms of quantitative analysis and comprehensive aspects and can more effectively distinguish the importance of indicators.