Nanomaterials (materials at the nanoscale, 10−9 meters) are extensively used in several industry sectors due to the improved properties they empower commercial products with. There is a pressing need to produce these materials more sustainably. This paper proposes a Multiple Criteria Decision Aiding (MCDA) approach to assess the implementation of green chemistry principles as applied to the protocols for nanoparticles synthesis. In the presence of multiple green and environmentally oriented criteria, decision aiding is performed with a synergy of ordinal regression methods; preference information in the form of desired assignment for a subset of reference protocols is accepted. The classification models, indirectly derived from such information, are composed of an additive value function and a vector of thresholds separating the pre-defined and ordered classes. The method delivers a single representative model that is used to assess the relative importance of the criteria, identify the possible gains with improvement of the protocol's evaluations and classify the non-reference protocols. Such precise recommendation is validated against the outcomes of robustness analysis exploiting the sets of all classification models compatible with all maximal subsets of consistent assignment examples. The introduced approach is used with real-world data concerning silver nanoparticles. It is proven to effectively resolve inconsistency in the assignment examples, tolerate ordinal and cardinal measurement scales, differentiate between inter- and intra-criteria attractiveness and deliver easily interpretable scores and class assignments. This work thoroughly discusses the learning insights that MCDA provided during the co-constructive development of the classification model.
Kadziński, M., Cinelli, M., Ciomek, K., Coles, S. R., Nadagouda, M. N., Varma, R. S., & Kirwan, K. (2018). Co-constructive development of a green chemistry-based model for the assessment of nanoparticles synthesis. European Journal of Operational Research, 264(2), 472–490. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2016.10.019