Failure Mode and Effect Analysis in a Linguistic Context: A Consensus-Based Multiattribute Group Decision-Making Approach

Hengjie Zhang, Yucheng Dong*, Ivan Palomares-Carrascosa, Haiwei Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
290 Downloads (Pure)


Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) is an effective risk-management tool, which has been extensively utilized to manage failure modes (FMs) of products, processes, systems, and services. Almost all FMEA models are concerned with how to get a complete risk order of FMs from highest to lowest risk. However, in many situations, it may be sufficient to classify the FMs into several ordinal risk classes. Meanwhile, generating a consensual decision is crucial for the FMEA problem because 1) reaching consensus will enhance the connections among FMEA participants, and 2) a highly accepted group solution to the FMEA problem can be generated. Thus, this study proposes a consensus-based group decision-making framework for FMEA with the aim of classifying FMs into several ordinal risk classes in which we assumed that FMEA participants provide their preferences in a linguistic way using possibilistic hesitant fuzzy linguistic information. In the FMEA framework, a consensus-driven methodology is presented to generate the weights of risk factors. Following this, an optimization-based consensus rule guided by a minimum adjustment distance policy is devised, and an interactive model for reaching consensus is developed to generate consensual FM risk classes. In order to justify its validity of the proposal, our framework is applied for the risk evaluation of proton beam radiotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8482309
Pages (from-to)566-582
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Reliability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2018


  • Consensus
  • failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA)
  • failure mode classification
  • multiattribute group decision-making
  • reliability management


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