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Pearson's coefficients between each two criteria are shown in Table 4. It is obvious that the correlations between criteria are universal, and some of the criteria are highly correlated. The results of correlation analysis indicate that repeated and interferential information exists in the criterion system, which will affect the evaluation result. Correlation between criteria not only occurs in this case study, but also exists in previous studies (e.g., Yu et al. 2004; Fu 2008; Wang et al. 2011). These studies mainly discussed how to improve and apply MCDM methods for reservoir flood control operation. However, they ignored correlation between criteria.

Table 4

Correlation coefficient matrix

 Zmax1Ze1Rv1Zmax2Ze2Rv2Zmax3Ze3Rv3QmaxTW
Zmax1 1* 1* 1* −1* −1* −1* −0.10 0.09 −0.10 −0.40 −0.78 −0.67 
Ze1 1* 1* 1* −1* −1* −1* −0.10 0.09 −0.10 −0.40 −0.78 −0.67 
Rv1 1* 1* 1* −1* −1* −1* −0.10 0.09 −0.10 −0.40 −0.78 −0.67 
Zmax2 −1* −1* −1* 1* 1* 1* 0.10 −0.09 0.10 0.40 0.78 0.67 
Ze2 −1* −1* −1* 1* 1* 1* 0.10 −0.09 0.10 0.40 0.78 0.67 
Rv2 −1* −1* −1* 1* 1* 1* 0.10 −0.09 0.10 0.40 0.78 0.67 
Zmax3 −0.10 −0.10 −0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10 1* 0.99* 1* 0.80 0.09 0.48 
Ze3 0.01 0.01 0.01 −0.01 −0.01 −0.01 0.99* 1* 0.99* 0.80 0.02 0.43 
Rv3 −0.10 −0.10 −0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10 1* 0.99* 1* 0.80 0.08 0.48 
Qmax −0.40 −0.40 −0.40 0.40 0.40 0.40 0.80 0.80 0.80 1* 0.58 0.85* 
T −0.78 −0.78 −0.78 0.78 0.78 0.78 0.09 0.02 0.08 0.58 1* 0.90* 
W −0.67 −0.67 −0.67 0.67 0.67 0.67 0.48 0.43 0.48 0.85* 0.90* 1* 
 Zmax1Ze1Rv1Zmax2Ze2Rv2Zmax3Ze3Rv3QmaxTW
Zmax1 1* 1* 1* −1* −1* −1* −0.10 0.09 −0.10 −0.40 −0.78 −0.67 
Ze1 1* 1* 1* −1* −1* −1* −0.10 0.09 −0.10 −0.40 −0.78 −0.67 
Rv1 1* 1* 1* −1* −1* −1* −0.10 0.09 −0.10 −0.40 −0.78 −0.67 
Zmax2 −1* −1* −1* 1* 1* 1* 0.10 −0.09 0.10 0.40 0.78 0.67 
Ze2 −1* −1* −1* 1* 1* 1* 0.10 −0.09 0.10 0.40 0.78 0.67 
Rv2 −1* −1* −1* 1* 1* 1* 0.10 −0.09 0.10 0.40 0.78 0.67 
Zmax3 −0.10 −0.10 −0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10 1* 0.99* 1* 0.80 0.09 0.48 
Ze3 0.01 0.01 0.01 −0.01 −0.01 −0.01 0.99* 1* 0.99* 0.80 0.02 0.43 
Rv3 −0.10 −0.10 −0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10 1* 0.99* 1* 0.80 0.08 0.48 
Qmax −0.40 −0.40 −0.40 0.40 0.40 0.40 0.80 0.80 0.80 1* 0.58 0.85* 
T −0.78 −0.78 −0.78 0.78 0.78 0.78 0.09 0.02 0.08 0.58 1* 0.90* 
W −0.67 −0.67 −0.67 0.67 0.67 0.67 0.48 0.43 0.48 0.85* 0.90* 1* 

*Represents the correlation coefficient at 95% confidence level.

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