Skip to main content

Virtually combining the analytical hierarchy process and voting methods in order to make group decisions


Multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) is represented by utility and outranking methods. Of the utility models, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is probably the most popular in group-decision support. The social choice theory (SCT) with its voting systems can be efficiently combined with MCDM, and AHP in particular, in various group-decision contexts. This paper investigates two possible contexts where modeling group decision-making processes in the field of human–computer interaction (HCI) takes place. Being an important part of universal access in the information society, the first context assumes the use of AHP only, associated with two different aggregating techniques to derive the group decision, with and without a consensus. The second context is based on using only SCT systems, i.e., preferential and non-preferential voting systems. The third, novel, approach that is proposed assumes a full AHP application in the first stage to obtain the weights of alternatives and, in the second stage, an interpretation of the AHP’s cardinal information as being the ordinal one and the direct application of the SCT voting systems. Comparative analyses show good agreement for the results when the three methodologies are applied as the decision support to ranking by importance (for a group of 14 PhD students) several widely used sources of information for the internet. The method of virtually combining the AHP and SCT voting systems could be efficiently implemented in real decision-making situations in HCI and related sectors, as well as in cross-sector settings.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. Srdjevic, B.: Linking Analytic Hierarchy Process and Social Choice Methods to Support Group Decision-Making in Water Management. Decis. Support Syst. 42(4), 2261–2273 (2007)

  2. Bolloju, B.: Aggregation of analytic hierarchy process models based on similarities in decision makers’ preferences. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 128(3), 499–508 (2001)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Zahir, S.: Clusters in a group: Decision making in the vector space formulation of the analytic hierarchy process. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 112(3), 620–634 (1999)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Cranor, L.F.: Declared-Strategy Voting: An Instrument for Group Decision-Making. Ph.D. Dissertation, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA (1996)

  5. Lakeman, E.: How Democracies Vote: A Study of Electoral Systems, 4th edn. Faber & Faber, London (1974)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Saaty, T.L.: The Analytic Hierarchy Process. McGraw-Hill, New York (1980)

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  7. Ishizaka, A., Labib, A.:. Review of the main developments in the analytic hierarchy process. Expert Syst. Appl. 38(11), 14336–14345 (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Srdjevic, B., Pipan, M., Srdjevic, Z., Arh, T.: AHP supported evaluation of LMS quality. In: Lai-Chong Law, E. et al. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Interplay between User Experience (UX) and Software Development (I-UxSED 2012) in conjunction with the 7th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (NordiCHI 2012), pp. 52–57, October 14, 2012. Copenhagen, Denmark (2012). Available on-line at ISSN: 1613-0073

  9. Taylor, A.D.: Mathematics and Politics. Springer, New York (1995)

    Book  MATH  Google Scholar 

  10. McNut, P.A.: The Economics of Public Choice. Edward Elgar, UK (1996)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Kelly, J.S.: Social Choice Theory. An Introduction. Springer, New York (1988)

    Book  MATH  Google Scholar 

  12. Laukkanen, S., Kangas, A., Kangas, J.: Applying voting theory in natural resource management: a case of multiple-criteria group decision support. J. Environ. Manag. 64(2), 127–137 (2002)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Lootsma, F.A., Schuijt, H.: The multiplicative AHP, SMART, and ELECTRE in a common context. J. Multi Criteria Decis. Anal. 6(4), 185–196 (1997)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Srdjevic, B., Srdjevic, Z.: Synthesis of individual best local priority vectors in AHP-group decision making. Appl. Soft Comput. 13(4), 2045–2056 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  15. Forman, E., Peniwati, K.: Aggregating individual judgments and priorities with the analytic hierarchy process. Eur. J. Oper. Res. 108(1), 165–169 (1998)

    Google Scholar 

  16. Regan, H.M., Colyvan, M., Markovchick-Nicholls, L.: A formal model for consensus and negotiation in environmental management. J. Environ. Manag. 80(2), 167–176 (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  17. Lehrer, L., Wagner, C.: Rational Consensus in Science and Society. Reidel, Dordrecht (1981)

    Book  MATH  Google Scholar 

  18. Yaniv, I.: Receiving other people’s advice: influence and benefit. Organ. Behav. Hum. Decis. Process. 93(1), 1–13 (2004)

    Google Scholar 

  19. Ridgley, M.A.: Equity and the determination of accountability for greenhouse-gas reduction. Central Eur. J. Oper. Res. Econ. 2(3), 223–242 (1993)

  20. Collignon, S.: The European Republic: Reflections on the Political Economy and Future Constitution. Federal Trust for Education and Research, London (2003)

    Google Scholar 

  21. d’Angelo, A., Eskandari, A., Szidarovszky, F.: Social choice procedures in water resources management. J. Environ. Manag. 52(3), 203–210 (1998)

    Google Scholar 

  22. Fraser, N.M., Hauge, J.W.: Multicriteria approval: application of approval voting concepts to MCDM problems. J. Multi Criteria Decis. Anal. 7(5), 263–273 (1998)

    Google Scholar 

  23. Srdjevic, B., Srdjevic, Z., Blagojevic, B., Suvocarev, K.: A two-phase algorithm for consensus building in AHP-group decision-making. Appl. Math. Model. 37(10–11), 6670–6682 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This work is a part of common research within the framework of the COST Action IC0904 ‘Towards the Integration of Transectorial IT Design and Evaluation (TwinTide).’ It was also supported in part by the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and Secretariat for Science and Technological Development of Vojvodina Province.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bojan Srdjevic.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Srdjevic, B., Pipan, M., Srdjevic, Z. et al. Virtually combining the analytical hierarchy process and voting methods in order to make group decisions. Univ Access Inf Soc 14, 231–245 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • HCI
  • Universal access
  • MCDM
  • SCT
  • Group decisions