The multivariate analysis biplot as tool for conflict analysis in MCDA

Fabio B. Losa*, Rob van den Honert, Alison Joubert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, the use of multivariate statistical analysis techniques to aid in conflict analysis in a multi-actor group is demonstrated. In particular, the covariance biplot technique is focused on and the resulting graphical output, called the conflict diagram, is interpreted in terms of relationships between actors, profiles of alternatives under consideration, and the interactions between actors and alternatives in terms of the conflict and its possible resolutions (consensus, coalition, etc.). The conflict analysis is divided into two distinct phases. The descriptive phase is used to represent the conflict. The prescriptive phase is used in two ways: (i) to visualize the effects of changes in parameters (‘conflict resolution aid’), hopefully bringing the actors closer together, and (ii) as a tool to enhance the creative search for new alternatives (‘alternative generation’). The conflict analysis process is illustrated by examining ex post a practical case study in water resource management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-284
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • multi-actor multi-criteria decision analysis
  • conflict analysis
  • multivariate analysis


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