Measuring the digital divide: A modified benefit-of-the-doubt approach

Mahdi Mahdiloo*, Amir E. Andargoli, Mehdi Toloo, Charles Harvie, Thach Thao Duong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, a modified composite index is developed to measure digital inclusion for a group of cities and regions. The developed model, in contrast to the existing benefit-of-the-doubt (BoD) composite index literature, considers the subindexes as non-compensatory. This new way of modeling results in three important properties: (i) all subindexes are taken into account when assessing the digital inclusion of regions and are not removed (substituted) from the composite index, (ii) in addition to an overall composite index (aggregation of the subindexes), partial indexes (aggregated scores for each subindex) are also provided so that weak performances can be detected more effectively than when only the overall index is measured, and (iii) compared with current BoD models, the developed model has improved discriminatory power. To demonstrate the developed model, we use the Australian digital inclusion index as a real-world example.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110191
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2023


  • Benefit of the doubt
  • Composite index
  • Digital divide
  • Digital inclusion index
  • Non-compensatory subindexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Artificial Intelligence

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