Making and validating complex decisions with the AHP/ANP

Thomas Saaty
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
University of Pittsburgh
United States

Publication date: Mar, 2005

Journal: Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering
Vol.: 14- Issue: 1- Pages: 1-36

Abstract: Several examples that serve to validate the AHP/ANP with matrices hierarchies and networks are given in this paper. They are then followed by a discussion of the real numbers and how they are generated without the need for an absolute zero, and how they define an absolute scale of measurement that also does not need an absolute zero. In the AHP/ANP the measurement of an alternative depends on what other alternatives it is compared with. The result is that rank can change if alternatives are added or deleted, something that does not occur in one-at-a-time rating of the alternatives by comparing them with an ideal. An example is provided to show that this is natural and need not involve new criteria or change in judgments. A brief discussion of Utility Theory, the other multi-criteria theory, which uses interval scales to measure intangibles and some of its problems and paradoxes, is given. The references at the end include most of the papers that are adverse to the AHP with brief comments about several of them given in the paper.

Keywords: AHP, Analytic Hierarchy Process, Validation, Utility theory paradoxes, Ranking