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Performance evaluation of Indian Railway zones using DEMATEL and VIKOR methods

Rajeev Ranjan (Department of Production Engineering, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India)
Prasenjit Chatterjee (Mechanical Engineering Department, MCKV Institute of Engineering, Howrah, India)
Shankar Chakraborty (Department of Production Engineering, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 1 February 2016




The purpose of this paper is to propose the application of a decision-making tool for performance evaluation of Indian Railway zones. It basically seeks to analyze the effects of various evaluation criteria on the performance of Indian Railways using a combined multi-criteria decision-making approach which employs decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and “VIse Kriterijumska Optimizacija kompromisno Resenje” (VIKOR) methods.


The performance of 16 Indian Railway zones is first evaluated using DEMATEL method which addresses the inter-relationships between different criteria with the aid of a relationship structure. The VIKOR method which is a compromise ranking approach is then adopted to rank those candidate railway zones. Pareto analysis is also carried out to identify the benchmark railway zones for the under/poor performers so as to improve their operational excellence.


A numerical example from Indian Railways is illustrated and solved for better understanding of the integrated decision-making tool in which the relevant information for the considered railway zones with respect to different evaluation criteria are collected from various websites and Indian Railways annual statistical report. Western and North-Eastern zones, respectively, take the first and the last positions in the derived ranking list. The relevance of selecting different performance indices/evaluation criteria is also discussed.

Practical implications

The application of this integrated methodology would serve as a systematic approach for measurement of the aggregate operational performance of Indian Railway zones so as to gain valuable academic and practical insights. It is also expected to provide an insightful guidance to the railway administrators in taking valuable strategic decisions in promoting the service of Indian Railways.


The integrated DEMATEL-VIKOR method is conceptually simple and easily comprehensible which can consider numerous attributes simultaneously. This paper enables the readers to gain some valuable inputs from a managerial perspective for Indian Railways to formulate strategies for its zones to foster better performance.



Ranjan, R., Chatterjee, P. and Chakraborty, S. (2016), "Performance evaluation of Indian Railway zones using DEMATEL and VIKOR methods", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 78-95.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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