Theory of measurement of impacts and interactions in systems

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

Publication date: Jan, 1982

Journal: Systems Methodology in Social Science Research
- Pages: 94-110

Abstract: What is being frequently tested in society today is not our engineering skill or our ability to bring technology to bear on life’s problems, but our sense of priorities and our capacity to make trade-offs between various factors that have an impact on life. The trade-offs cannot all be measured in dollars. Rather, the priorities themselves provide the scales in each of the areas, and where dollars are concerned they should indeed be measured. What we have been looking for is a way of determining priorities that does not preclude our previous approach to economic cost-benefit analysis but generalizes it to include social, political, and environmental factors as well. We will first derive priorities for the elements in a system whose components are hierarchically arranged.

Keywords: Priorities, Trade-off, Analytic Hierarchy Process, AHP