Decision making with the Analytic Hierarchy Process

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

Publication date: Jan, 2002

Journal: Scientia Iranica
Vol.: 9- Issue: 3- Pages: 215-229

Abstract: In this paper, an introduction is given to decision-making theory, the Analytic Hierarchy Process. In the AHP, a decision hierarchy is constructed with a goal, criteria and alternatives. The criteria are pairwise compared for their importance with respect to the goal to derive a scale of relative importance and the alternatives are pairwise compared with repect to each criterion to derive relative scales. The relative scales are synthesiezed using a weighting and adding process to show which is the best alternative. Judgment is used to make the pairwise comparisons. Data can also be used directly in the pairwise comparisons if there is no need to assess or interpret the calue represented by the numbers. This proocess works well for intangibles with no existing scales of measurement. Even when measurement scales and data using these scales exist, it is oftern advantageous to use judgment to interpret it. Two ideas and the method are illustrated through an example.

Keywords: AHP, Analytic Hierarchy Process, Decision making