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A Probabilistic Hierarchical Classification Model for Rating Suppliers

Summary: [This abstract is based on the author's abstract.] A probabilistic approach is developed for a hierarchical classification problem in rating suppliers. The problem arises in the context of total quality management. The focus is on one of the prototypical applications for hierarchical placement of software developers. Existing approaches classify a supplier into one of several classes, with certainty. In contrast, the probabilistic approach assigns a positive probability to a supplier belonging to each of several classes. This approach serves as an input to any decision making procedure used in supplier selection. A normative approach for addressing this problem is proposed and illustrated. Since classification with certainty often is viewed as being unrealistic, the proposed approach is an improvement over existing methods. The proposed method does not make the decision process easier. Rather, by using measures of uncertainty, it makes the process better. This article is geared towards readers interested in using statistical techniques for coherent decision making, especially as encountered in quality management.

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  • Topics: Supplier Quality, Software Quality, Quality Management
  • Keywords: Decision making,Suppliers,Software quality,Quality management (QM)
  • Author: Singpurwalla, Nozer D.
  • Journal: Journal of Quality Technology