AHP, Gray Correlation, and TOPSIS Combined Approach to Green Performance Evaluation of Design Alternatives

Guangdong Tian, Honghao Zhang, Mengchu Zhou, Zhiwu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


The green design of electromechanical products is a pivotal link to manufacturing industry. The question on how to design green products must be answered by excellent designers using both advanced design methods and effective assessment techniques of design alternatives. Making an objective and precise assessment of green designs is of increasing importance to ensure sustainable development. This work proposes a framework based on the combination of analytical hierarchy process (AHP), gray correlation (GC), and technique for order performance by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) to evaluate the performance of design alternatives. AHP is used to determine the weights of performance indices and a nonlinear programming model with constraints is proposed to obtain the integrated closeness index based on the similarity closeness index from GC and distance closeness index from TOPSIS. A case study, i.e., three kinds of refrigerators, is illustrated to verify the proposed method. By comparing with existing methods, i.e., AHP-TOPSIS and AHP-GC, the effectiveness of the proposed method has been confirmed. In addition, sensitivity analysis is also provided in order to assess the robustness of the proposed method. Also, the following implication can be obtained from our results: 1) chloro-fluoro-carbons (mg/m3) (C1), production noise (dB) (C6), and environmental cost (C16) have a large impact on refrigerator's green design since these factors carry relatively larger weights. Results of the sensitivity analysis from different cases demonstrate that the best alternative may change when different weights are assigned to the evaluation criteria. This finding means the importance of establishing a qualified group of experts/designers in design evaluation and 2) the selection of design alternatives to produce a green product is critical to product development. The main contribution of this paper is the definition and development of an effective evaluation framework to guide managers to assess product design alternatives. The results show that it overcomes the one-sidedness of AHP-TOPSIS and AHP-GC, and makes the evaluation results more objective and realistic. It provides an accurate, effective, and systematic decision support tool for green performance evaluation of product design alternatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1105
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Analytical hierarchy process (AHP)
  • design alternatives
  • evaluation
  • gray correlation (GC)
  • green performance
  • technique for order performance by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS)


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