Rank and the controversy about the axioms of utility theory--a comparison of AHP and MAUT

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

Publication date: Jan, 1991

Journal: Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium of The Analytic Hierarchy Process
- Pages: 87-111

Abstract: A variety of authors have given real life examples that violate the utility theory axiom of independence from irrelevant alternatives. A theory that can only rank alternatives ione at a time such as Multiattribute Utility Theory has difficulty showing how introducing new alternatives that do not add new criteria but affect the weights of the existing criteria as in problems of scarcity, can lead to rank reversal. The Analytic Hierarchy Process deals both with situations in which rank should be preserved and those when it should not. The paper also deals with problems raised against Multiattribute Utility by its own practitioners and with differences between it and the Analytic Hierarchy Process.

Keywords: Rank, AHP, Utility theory