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The Theory of Ratio Scale Estimation: Saaty's Analytic Hierarchy Process


Author Info

  • Patrick T. Harker

    (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

  • Luis G. Vargas

    (Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260)

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    The Analytic Hierarchy Process developed by Saaty (Saaty, T. L. 1980. The Analytic Hierarchy Process. McGraw-Hill, New York.) has proven to be an extremely useful method for decision making and planning. However, some researchers in these areas have raised concerns over the theoretical basis underlying this process. This paper addresses currently debated issues concerning the theoretical foundations of the Analytic Hierarchy Process. We also illustrate through proof and through examples the validity or fallaciousness of these criticisms.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 33 (1987)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 1383-1403

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:33:y:1987:i:11:p:1383-1403

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    Keywords: decision theory; analytic hierarchy process; ratio scales;


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    Cited by:
    1. Alessio Ishizaka & Dieter Balkenborg & Todd Kaplan, 2005. "Influence of aggregation and measurement scale on ranking a compromise alternative in AHP," Discussion Papers 0506, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    2. Liang, Liang & Wang, Guohua & Hua, Zhongsheng & Zhang, Bin, 2008. "Mapping verbal responses to numerical scales in the analytic hierarchy process," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 46-55, March.
    3. Belton, Valerie & Goodwin, Paul, 1996. "Remarks on the application of the analytic hierarchy process to judgmental forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 155-161, March.
    4. Finan, J. S. & Hurley, W. J., 1999. "Transitive calibration of the AHP verbal scale," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 367-372, January.
    5. Carmone, Frank J. & Kara, Ali & Zanakis, Stelios H., 1997. "A Monte Carlo investigation of incomplete pairwise comparison matrices in AHP," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 538-553, November.
    6. Tavana, M. & Kennedy, D. T. & Joglekar, P., 1996. "A group decision support framework for consensus ranking of technical manager candidates," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 523-538, October.
    7. Siraj, S. & Mikhailov, L. & Keane, J.A., 2012. "Preference elicitation from inconsistent judgments using multi-objective optimization," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 220(2), pages 461-471.
    8. Ramanathan, R. & Ganesh, L. S., 1995. "Energy resource allocation incorporating qualitative and quantitative criteria: An integrated model using goal programming and AHP," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 197-218, September.
    9. Kumar, N. Vinod & Ganesh, L. S., 1996. "A simulation-based evaluation of the approximate and the exact eigenvector methods employed in AHP," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 656-662, December.
    10. Jain, Bharat A. & Nag, Barin N., 1996. "A decision-support model for investment decisions in new ventures," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 473-486, May.
    11. Frances X. Frei & Patrick T. Harker, 1998. "Measuring Aggregate Process Performance Using AHP," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-07, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    12. Stam, Antonie & Duarte Silva, A. Pedro, 2003. "On multiplicative priority rating methods for the AHP," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 92-108, February.
    13. Lai, S-K., 1995. "A preference-based interpretation of AHP," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 453-462, August.
    14. Stanciulescu, C. & Fortemps, Ph. & Installe, M. & Wertz, V., 2003. "Multiobjective fuzzy linear programming problems with fuzzy decision variables," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 149(3), pages 654-675, September.
    15. Ergu, Daji & Kou, Gang & Peng, Yi & Shi, Yong, 2011. "A simple method to improve the consistency ratio of the pair-wise comparison matrix in ANP," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 213(1), pages 246-259, August.
    16. Weck, M. & Klocke, F. & Schell, H. & Ruenauver, E., 1997. "Evaluating alternative production cycles using the extended fuzzy AHP method," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 351-366, July.
    17. Macharis, Cathy & Springael, Johan & De Brucker, Klaas & Verbeke, Alain, 2004. "PROMETHEE and AHP: The design of operational synergies in multicriteria analysis.: Strengthening PROMETHEE with ideas of AHP," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 307-317, March.
    18. Bentes, Alexandre Veronese & Carneiro, Jorge & da Silva, Jorge Ferreira & Kimura, Herbert, 2012. "Multidimensional assessment of organizational performance: Integrating BSC and AHP," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 1790-1799.
    19. Yeh, Chung-Hsing & Chang, Yu-Hern, 2009. "Modeling subjective evaluation for fuzzy group multicriteria decision making," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 194(2), pages 464-473, April.
    20. Mikhailov, L., 2004. "A fuzzy approach to deriving priorities from interval pairwise comparison judgements," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 159(3), pages 687-704, December.
    21. Leung, Lawrence C. & Cao, Dong, 2001. "On the efficacy of modeling multi-attribute decision problems using AHP and Sinarchy," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 39-49, July.
    22. Ossadnik, Wolfgang, 1996. "AHP-based synergy allocation to the partners in a merger," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 42-49, January.
    23. Alphonce, Christian B., 1997. "Application of the analytic hierarchy process in agriculture in developing countries," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 97-112, January.


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