Another potential strong shortcoming of AHP
AbstractIn the last twenty years many features of Saaty's Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) have been criticised, especially the additive hierarchical composition of conventional AHP, which leads to the possibility of occurrence of the Rank Reversal phenomenon (adding an irrelevant alternative may cause a reversal in the ranking at the top). In the context of a variable number of alternatives this rank reversal possibility is likely to be a shortcoming of the aggregation method, since the global priorities obtained and the corresponding rankings can be seen, to some extent, as arbitrary. In this paper we show another feature of AHP which may be, and in many application contexts will indeed be, an even stronger shortcoming of the method. It consists in the fact that the addition of indifferent criteria (for which all alternatives perform equally) causes a significant alteration of the aggregated priorities of alternatives, with important consequences. Although not in three-level hierarchies, in more complex hierarchies rank reversal may happen. Since in almost all applications of AHP the set of criteria is not fixed ex-ante but is variable and is constructed in accordance with reasons of relevance and simplicity, almost all applications of AHP are potentially flawed.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Programa de doctorado en Economía. Universidad de Alcalá. in its series Doctorado en Economía- documentos de trabajo with number 8/02.
Length: pages 14
Date of creation: 01 May 2001
Date of revision: 01 Jun 2002
Rank Reversal; AHP; Indifferent criteria.;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Belton, Valerie & Gear, Tony, 1983. "On a short-coming of Saaty's method of analytic hierarchies," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 228-230.
- James S. Dyer, 1990. "A Clarification of "Remarks on the Analytic Hierarchy Process"," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(3), pages 274-275, March.
- Saaty, Thomas L & Vargas, Luis G, 1984. "The legitimacy of rank reversal," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 513-516.
- Thomas L. Saaty, 1990. "An Exposition of the AHP in Reply to the Paper "Remarks on the Analytic Hierarchy Process"," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(3), pages 259-268, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Juan Muro).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.