Fuzzy AHP-based multi-criteria decision-making analysis for route alignment planning using geographic information system (GIS)

  • Mukund Pratap Singh
  • Pitam SinghEmail author
  • Priyamvada Singh
Original Article


An approach for identifying and selecting the route alignment using GIS and fuzzy AHP is developed in the present study. Spatial multi-criteria decision analysis is applied to identify optimal route alignment with the consideration of criteria such as environmental, social, economic and technical spatial datasets. These criteria play a significant role in the identification and selection of optimal route alignment. Fuzzy set theory is used to handle vagueness-type uncertainty in the multi-criteria decision analysis. Fuzzy AHP is introduced to compare the fuzzy criteria for ranking purpose, and fuzzy criteria weights are used to develop relative surface cost maps. The least-cost path (LCP) method is applied to find alternate four route alignments from source to destination by considering several criteria in GIS. The criteria values of each four alignment and weight of each criterion on the basis of maximum priority weight are calculated. The designed four routes are evaluated using priority weight method and fuzzy-AHP method. The selection of optimum route is considered by maximum weight of the alignment. The technical route alignment (alignment 4) is considered as optimum route with weight value 80.38%. The proposed methodology is implemented for a study area, outer region of Allahabad city, India.


Route alignment planning Geographic information system (GIS) Fuzzy-analytic hierarchy process (F-AHP) Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) Decision support system (DSS) 

JEL Classification




  1. Aggarwal R, Singh S (2013) AHP and extent fuzzy AHP approach for prioritization of performance measurement attributes. Int J Ind Manuf Eng 7(1):6–11Google Scholar
  2. Angulo E, Castillo E, Garcia-rodenas R, Sanchez Vizcaino J (2012) Determining highway corridors. J Trans Eng 138(5):557–570Google Scholar
  3. Atkinson DM, Deadman P, Dudycha D, Traynor S (2005) Multi-criteria evaluation and least cost path analysis for an arctic all-weather road. Appl Geogr 25(4):287–307Google Scholar
  4. Ayağ Z (2014) A fuzzy analytic hierarchy process tool to evaluate computer-aided manufacturing software alternatives. Turk J Fuzzy Syst 5(2):114–127Google Scholar
  5. Banai R (1993) Fuzziness in geographical information systems: contributions from the analytic hierarchy process. Int J Geograph Inf Syst 7(4):315–329Google Scholar
  6. Benz UC, Hofmann P, Willhauck G, Lingenfelder I, Heynen M (2004) Multi-resolution, object oriented fuzzy analysis of remote sensing data for GIS ready information. ISPRS J Photogramm Remote Sens 58:239–258Google Scholar
  7. Boroushaki S, Malczewski J (2008) Implementing an extension of the analytical hierarchy process using ordered weighted averaging operators with fuzzy quantifiers in ArcGIS. Comput Geosci 34(4):399–410Google Scholar
  8. Carver SJ (1991) Integrating multi-criteria evaluation with geographical information systems. Int J Geograph Inf Syst 5(3):321–339Google Scholar
  9. Chan HK, Wang X, White GRT, Yip N (2013) An extended fuzzy-AHP approach for the evaluation of green product designs. IEEE Trans Eng Manage 60(2):327–339Google Scholar
  10. Chang DY (1996) Applications of the extent analysis method on fuzzy AHP. Eur J Oper Res 95(3):649–655Google Scholar
  11. Cheng JF, Lee Y (2006) Model for three-dimensional highway alignment. J Transp Eng 132(12):913–920Google Scholar
  12. Collischonn W, Pilar V (2000) A direction dependent least cost path algorithm for roads and canals. Int J Geogr Inf Sci 14:397–406Google Scholar
  13. Comes T, Hiete M, Schultmann F (2013) An approach to multi-criteria decision problems under severe uncertainty. J Multi Criteria Decis Anal 20:29–48Google Scholar
  14. DellÁcqua G (2012) Using fuzzy inference systems to optimize highway alignments. Int J Traffic Transp Eng 2(1):44–59Google Scholar
  15. Demirel T, Demirel NC, Kahraman C (2008) Fuzzy analytic hierarchy process. Fuzzy Multi Criteria Decis Making 16:53–54Google Scholar
  16. Douglas DH (1994) Least-cost path in GIS using an accumulated cost surface and slope lines. Cartogr Int J Geograph Inf Geovisualization 31(3):37–51Google Scholar
  17. Eastman J (1999) Multi-criteria evaluation and GIS. Geograph inf syst 1(1):493–502Google Scholar
  18. Eastman R, Jin W, Kyem PAK, Toledano J (1995) Raster procedures for multi-criteria/multi-objective decision. Photogramm Eng Remote Sens 61(5):539–547Google Scholar
  19. Effat HA, Hassan OA (2013) Designing and evaluation of three alternatives highway routes using the analytical hierarchy process and the least-cost path analysis, application in Sinai Peninsula Egypt. Egypt J Remote Sens Space Sci 16(2):141–151Google Scholar
  20. ESRI, Environmental System Research Institute, ArcGIS v10.0, Help Library.
  21. Fazlollahtabar H, Eslami H, Salmani H (2010) Designing a fuzzy expert system to evaluate alternatives in fuzzy analytic hierarchy process. J Softw Eng Appl 03(04):409–418Google Scholar
  22. Feizizadeh B, Blaschke T (2013) Land suitability analysis for Tabriz County, Iran: a multi-criteria evaluation approach using GIS. J Environ Plan Manage 56(1):1–23Google Scholar
  23. Goktepe AB, Lav AH, Altun S (2009) Method for optimal vertical alignment of highways. Proc Inst Civil Eng Transp 162(4):177–188Google Scholar
  24. Gonçalves AB (2010) An extension of GIS-based least cost path modeling to the location of wide paths. Int J Geogr Inf Sci 24(7):983–996Google Scholar
  25. Goodchild M, Haining R, Wise S, Arbia G, Anselin L, Bossard E, Brunsdon C, Diggle P, Flowerdew R, Green M, Griffith D, Hepple L, Krug T, Martin R, Openshaw S (1992) Integrating GIS and spatial data analysis: problems and possibilities. Int J Geograph Inf Syst 6(5):407–423Google Scholar
  26. Hill MJ, Braaten R, Veitch SM, Lees BG, Sharma S (2005) Multi-criteria decision analysis in spatial decision support: the assess analytic hierarchy process and the role of quantitative methods and spatially explicit analysis. Environ Model Softw 20(7):955–976Google Scholar
  27. Jankowski P (1995) Integrating geographical information systems and multiple criteria decision-making methods. Int J Geograph Inf Syst 9(3):251–273Google Scholar
  28. Jankowski P, Richard L (1994) Integration of GIS-based suitability analysis and multi-criteria evaluation in a spatial decision support system for route selection. Environ Plan 21(3):323–340Google Scholar
  29. Jankowski P, Andrienko N, Andrienko G (2001) Map-centered exploratory approach to multiple criteria spatial decision making. Int J Geogr Inf Sci 15(2):101–127Google Scholar
  30. Jha MK (2003) Criteria-based decision support system for selecting highway alignments. J Transp Eng 129(1):33–41Google Scholar
  31. Jha MK, Kim E (2006) Highway route optimization based on accessibility, proximity, and land-use changes. J Transp Eng 132(5):435–439Google Scholar
  32. Jha MK, Maji A (2007) A multi-objective genetic algorithm for optimizing highway alignments. IEEE symposium on computational intelligence in multi-criteria decision making.
  33. Jha MK, Schonfeld P (2003) Trade-offs between initial and maintenance costs of highways in cross-slopes. J Infrastruct Syst 9(1):16–25Google Scholar
  34. Jha MK, Schonfeld P (2004) A highway alignment optimization model using geographic information systems. Transp Res Part A 38(6):455–481Google Scholar
  35. Jiang H, Eastman JR (2000) Application of fuzzy measures in multi-criteria evaluation in GIS. Int J Geograph Inf Sci 14(2):173–184Google Scholar
  36. Jong JC, Schonfeld P (2003) An evolutionary model for simultaneously optimizing three-dimensional highway alignments. Transp Res Part B 37(2):107–128Google Scholar
  37. Jong J-C, Jha MK, Schonfeld P (2000) Preliminary highway design with genetic algorithms and geographic information systems. Comput Aided Civil Infrastruct Eng 15(4):261–271Google Scholar
  38. Kadiyali LR (2011) Traffic engineering and transportation planning. ISBN No.: 81-7409-220-XGoogle Scholar
  39. Kang MW, Jha MK, Schonfeld P (2012) Applicability of highway alignment optimization models. Transp Res Part C 21(1):257–286Google Scholar
  40. Kiker GA, Bridges TS, Varghese A, Seager TP, Linkov I (2005) Application of multi-criteria decision analysis in environmental decision making. Integr Environ Assess Manag 1(2):95Google Scholar
  41. Kim E, Jha MK, Schonfeld P (2004) Intersection construction cost functions for alignment optimization. J Transp Eng 130(2):194–203Google Scholar
  42. Kim E, Jha MK, Son B (2005) Improving the computational efficiency of highway alignment optimization models through a stepwise genetic algorithms approach. Transp Res Part B 39(4):339–360Google Scholar
  43. Lee Y, Tsou YR, Liu HL (2009) Optimization method for highway horizontal alignment design. J Transp Eng 135(4):217–224Google Scholar
  44. Maji A, Jha MK (2011) A multi-objective analysis of impacted area of environmentally preserved land and alignment cost for sustainable highway infrastructure design. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 20:966–972Google Scholar
  45. Malczewski J (1999a) GIS and multi-criteria decision analysis. Wiley, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  46. Malczewski J (1999b) Visualization in multi-criteria spatial decision support systems. Geomatica 53:139–147Google Scholar
  47. Malczewski J (2000) On the use of weighted linear combination method in GIS: common and best practice approaches. Trans GIS 4(1):5–22Google Scholar
  48. Malczewski J (2004) GIS-based land-use suitability analysis: a critical overview. Prog Plann 62(1):3–65Google Scholar
  49. Malczewski J (2006) GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis: a survey of the literature. Int J Geogr Inf Sci 20(7):703–726Google Scholar
  50. Malczewski J, Rinner C (2015) Multi-criteria decision analysis in geographic information science. Springer, New York. Google Scholar
  51. Mishra S, Kang MW, Jha MK (2014) Empirical model with environmental considerations in highway alignment optimization. J Inf Syst 20(4):1–12Google Scholar
  52. Moreb AA (1996) Linear programming model for finding optimal roadway grades that minimize earth-work cost. Eur J Oper Res 93(1):148–154Google Scholar
  53. Murat YS, Arslan T, Cakici Z, Akcam C, (2015) Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) based decision support system for urban intersections in transportation planning, using decision support systems for transportation planning efficiency, Chapter 8, IGI Global PublishingGoogle Scholar
  54. Pahlavani P, Delavar MR (2014) Multi-criteria route planning based on a drivers preference in multi-criteria route selection. Transp Res Part C 40:14–35Google Scholar
  55. Saaty TL (1980) Analytic hierarchy process. McGrawhill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  56. Saaty TL (1990) How to make a decision: the analytic hierarchy process. Eur J Oper Res 48:9–26Google Scholar
  57. Saaty TL (2008) Decision making with the analytic hierarchy process. Int J Serv Sci 1(1):83–98Google Scholar
  58. Sadeghi-Niaraki A, Varshosaz M, Kim K, Jung JJ (2011) Real world representation of a road network for route planning in GIS. Expert Syst Appl 38(10):11999–12008Google Scholar
  59. Sadek S, Bedran M, Kaysi I (1999) GIS platform for multi-criteria evaluation of route alignments. J Transp Eng 125(2):144–151Google Scholar
  60. Saha AK, Arora MK, Gupta RP, Virdi ML, Csaplovics E (2005) GIS-based route planning in landslide prone-areas. Int J Geogr Inf Sci 19(10):1149–1175Google Scholar
  61. Singh MP, Singh P (2017) Multi-criteria GIS modeling for optimum route alignment planning in outer region of Allahabad city, India. Arab J Geosci 10(13):1–16Google Scholar
  62. Tae-Ho R, Jong-Chool L, Hee-Gyoo K, Jong-ju K, Yeoung-Hwa J (2008) Construction on decision support system for route location based on GIS. The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, XXXVII, pp 555–566Google Scholar
  63. Tyagi S, Agrawal S, Yang K, Ying H (2016) An extended fuzzy-AHP approach to rank the influences of socialization externalization combination internalization modes on the development phase. Appl Soft Comput J 52:505–518Google Scholar
  64. Vahidnia MH, Alesheikh AA, Alimohammadi A (2009) Hospital site selection using fuzzy AHP and its derivatives. J Environ Manage 90:3048–3056Google Scholar
  65. Voogd H (1983) Multi-criteria evaluation for urban and regional planning. Pion, Number LondonGoogle Scholar
  66. Xu J, Lathrop RG (1994) Improving cost-path tracing in a raster data format. Comput Geosci 20(10):1455–1465Google Scholar
  67. Yakar F, Celik F (2014) A highway alignment determination model incorporating GIS and multi-criteria decision making. KSCE J Civil Eng 18(6):1847–1857Google Scholar
  68. Yanar TA, Akyürek Z (2006) The enhancement of the cell-based GIS analyses with fuzzy processing capabilities. Inf Sci 176(8):1067–1085Google Scholar
  69. Yang N, Kang MW, Schonfeld P, Jha MK (2014) Multi-objective highway alignment optimization incorporating preference information. Transp Res Part C 40:36–48Google Scholar
  70. Yildirim V, Nisanci R, Reis S (2006) A GIS based route determination in linear engineering structures information management (lesim). XXIII FIG Congress, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  71. Yu C, Lee J, Stasiuk MM (2003) Extensions to least cost paths algorithms for roadway planning. Int JGeograph Inf Sci 17(4):361–376Google Scholar
  72. Zadeh LA (1978) Fuzzy sets as a basic for theory of possibility. FSSI, UK, pp 3–28Google Scholar
  73. Zanakis SH, Solomon A, Wishart N, Dublish S (1998) Multi-attribute decision making: a simulation comparison of select methods. Eur J Oper Res 107(3):507–529Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mukund Pratap Singh
    • 1
  • Pitam Singh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Priyamvada Singh
    • 3
  1. 1.GIS Cell, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsMotilal Nehru National Institute of Technology AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia

Personalised recommendations