Quantitative multi-criteria decision making for your designs
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Rate and rank multiple user-defined design options against multiple user-defined criteria using a quantitative approach. SDI's approach to design trade-off is to evaluate how well the Design Option meets each Design Criterion by performing detailed, quantitative comparisons. The Total Score for each Design Option is calculated as the weighted sum of each Design Option Score per Design Criterion.

The Design Option with the highest score is the chosen as the "best" Option that comes closest to satisfying all the Design Criteria. In many cases, Design Criteria are conflicting, so there may be cases where the "best" Design Option exceeds the bounds of one or more the Design Criteria.


  • Create and manage a SDI matrix with up to 200 Criteria and 200 Options
  • Add, remove, or insert Criteria and Options with click of a button
  • Expand the SDI Matrix with click of a button
  • Each criterion can be weighted
  • Define scoring method for each Criterion (Linear In-Spec, Quadratic, In/Out Spec, Maximize, Minimize, 1-PNC)
  • Integrated pareto chart
  • Manage information visibility
  • Context-sensitive help and right-click popup
  • All work is stored in a standard Excel worksheet


The basic concept of this method is that the selected Design Options should provide benefit (value) or compliance with respect to the Criteria (stated as specifications). A composite weighted sum score is computed for each Design Option based on scoring method selected for each Criteria.

SDI Method approach:
  1. Create matrix with Design Options and Criteria
  2. Assign Importance to Criteria
  3. Enter LSL, Target, and/or USL values from known specifications for each Criteria
  4. Enter Design Option data for each Criteria
  5. Select the Criteria Scoring Method (Linear Inspec, Quadratic Inspec, In/Out Spec, Minimize Maximize, or 1-PNC))
  6. Compute and Evaluate Scores

The SDI Method is a quantitative approach based on Multi-Attribute Value Analysis concepts for aggregating a preference over conflicting Criteria to find the Design Option with the highest value when all Criteria are considered.


  • Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10, 11
  • Microsoft Excel 2013, 2016, 2019, 365
  • WARNING: SDI Tools does not support these versions of Office 365 (Office from Microsoft Store, Office Online, Office for Mac, Office for iOS)
  • Administrator rights required to install software


  • Design Option Scores are calculated for each Design Criterion using one of the following quantitive methods:
  • LINEAR: Linear variation inside the specification
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  • QUADRATIC: Quadratic variation inside the specification
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  • IN/OUT: Inside/Outside of specification
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  • 1-PNC: 1 - Probability of Non-Compliance (e.g., probability of compliance)
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  • Check SDI matrix for errors


  • Sort Criteria and Options by any row or column
  • Control how information is displayed.
  • Automatic calculation of scores
  • Specify how many Criteria and Options are in the matrix when the SDI worksheet is created.
  • Expand the matrix and view the impact to the number of evaluations.


This video shows design selection using Pugh Matrix, TOPIS, and SDI Matrix using SDI Tools v3 in action. We will be updating this video to reflect changes to SDI Tools v4 soon.

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SDI Tools 4.13.2 is available