Each alternative considered in a decision model is characterized in terms of a set of attributes which are relative to the particular decision problem. If the decision problem was to choose amongst alternative cars to purchase, for example, some of the relevant attributes of this problem might be purchase price, annual maintenance cost, gas mileage, comfort, and so on. A basic requirement of all attributes is that they should be measurable in some fashion. In the car example, purchase price, maintenance cost and mileage are all examples of attributes that can be measured with natural or ratio scales, whereas an assessment of comfort would require a constructed scale.
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