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


  • 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)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick T. Harker & Luis G. Vargas, 1987. "The Theory of Ratio Scale Estimation: Saaty's Analytic Hierarchy Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(11), pages 1383-1403, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:33:y:1987:i:11:p:1383-1403
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.33.11.1383

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