An investment analysis model using fuzzy set theory

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Traditional methods for evaluating investments in state-of-the-art technology are sometimes found lacking in providing equitable recommendations for project selection. The major cause for this is the inability of these methods to handle adequately uncertainty and imprecision, and account for every aspect of the project, economic and non-economic, tangible and intangible. Fuzzy set theory provides an alternative to probability theory for handling uncertainty, while at the same time being able to handle imprecision. It also provides a means of closing the gap between the human thought process and the computer, by enabling the establishment of linguistic quantifiers to describe intangible attributes. Fuzzy set theory has been used successfully in other fields for aiding the decision-making process.

The intention of this research has been the application of fuzzy set theory to aid investment decision making. The research has led to the development of a structured model, based on theoretical algorithms developed by Buckley and others. The model looks at a project from three different standpoints- economic, operational, and strategic. It provides recommendations by means of five different values for the project desirability, and results of two sensitivity analyses. The model is tested on a hypothetical case study. The end result is a model that can be used as a basis for promising future development of investment analysis models.