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USING THE ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS FOR DECISION MAKING

'USING THE ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS FOR DECISION MAKING'
Published in:Published in: Inter’l Journal of Industrial Engineering: Applications and Practice, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 35-44, 1995. 1 ISSN 1072-4761© INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING USING THE ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS FOR DECISION MAKING IN ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS: SOME CHALLENGES Evangelos Triantaphyllou Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Louisiana State University 3128 CEBA Building Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6409, U.S.A. Stuart H. Mann School of Hotel, Restaurant and Recreation Management The Pennsylvania State University 201E Mateer Building University Park, PA 16802, U.S.A. In many industrial engineering applications the final decision is based on the evaluation of a number of alternatives in terms of a number of criteria. This problem may become a very difficult one when the criteria are expressed in different units or the pertinent data are difficult to be quantified. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is an effective approach in dealing with this kind of decision problems. This paper examines some of the practical and computational issues involved when the AHP method is used in engineering applications. Significance:In many engineering applications the final decision depends on the evaluation of a set of alternatives in terms of a number of decision criteria. This may be a difficult task and the Analytic Hierarchy Process seems to provide an effective way for properly quantifying the pertinent data. However, there are many critical issues that a decision maker needs to be aware of. Key words: Multi-Criteria Decision-Making, Analytic Hierarchy Process, Pairwise Comparisons. (Received August 23, 1994; Accepted in revised form 14 January 1995) 1. INTRODUCTION The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a multi-criteria decision-making approach and was introduced by Saaty (1977 and 1994). The AHP has attracted the interest of many researchers mainly due to the nice mathematical properties of the method and the fact that the required input data are rather easy to obtain. The AHP is a decision support tool which can be used to solve complex decision problems. It uses a multi-level hierarchical structure of objectives, criteria, subcriteria, and alternatives. The pertinent data are derived by using a set of pairwise comparisons. These comparisons are used to obtain the weights of importance of the decision criteria, and the relative performance measures of the alternatives in terms of each individual decision criterion. If the comparisons are not perfectly consistent, then it provides a mechanism for improving consistency. Some of the industrial engineering applications of the AHP include its use in integrated manufacturing (Putrus, 1990), in the evaluation of technology investment decisions (Boucher and McStravic, 1991), in flexible manufacturing systems (Wabalickis, 1988), layout design (Cambron and Evans, 1991), and also in other engineering problems (Wang and Raz, 1991). As an illustrative application con
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