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

Publication Name

Knowledge-Based Systems


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.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access



Article Number


Funding Number

19- 13946S

Funding Sponsor

Grantová Agentura České Republiky



Link to publisher version (DOI)