Aggregating Individual Judgments and Prioriies with the Analytic Hierarchy Process

Ernest Forman
Management Science Department
George Washington University
United States
Kirti Peniwati
PPM Graduate School of Management

Publication date: Jul, 1998

Journal: European Journal of Operational Research
Vol.: 108- Issue: 1- Pages: 165-169

Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract: The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is often used in group settings where group members either engage in discussion to achieve a consensus or express their own preferences. Individual judgments can be aggregated in different ways. Two of the methods that have been found to be most useful are the aggregation of individual judgments (AIJ) and the aggregation of individual priorities (AIP). We propose that the choice of method depends on whether the group is assumed to act together as a unit or as separate individuals and explain why AIJ is appropriate for the former while AIP is appropriate for the latter. We also address the relationships between the choice of method, the applicability of the Pareto principle, and the use of arithmetic or geometric means in aggregation. Finally, we discuss Ramanathan and Ganesh's method to derive priorities for individual decision-makers that can be used when aggregate group preferences of individuals whose judgments are not all equally weighted. We conclude that while this method can be useful, it is applicable only in special circumstances.

Keywords: Analytic Hierarchy Process, Group decision making, Geometric mean