The Analytic Hierarchy and Analytic Network Processes for the Measurement of Intangible Criteria and for Decision-Making

  • Thomas L. Saaty
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 78)


The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and its generalization to dependence and feedback, the Analytic Network Process (ANP), are theories of relative measurement of intangible criteria. With this approach to relative measurement, a scale of priorities is derived from pairwise comparison measurements only after the elements to be measured are known. The ability to do pairwise comparisons is our biological heritage and we need it to cope with a world where everything is relative and constantly changing. In traditional measurement one has a scale that one applies to measure any element that comes along that has the property the scale is for, and elements are measured one by one, not by comparing them with each other. In the AHP paired comparisons are made with judgments using numerical values taken from the AHP absolute fundamental scale of 1-9. A scale of relative values is derived from all these paired comparisons and it also belongs to an absolute scale that is invariant under the identity transformation like the system of real numbers. The AHP/ANP is useful for making multicriteria decisions involving benefits, opportunities, costs and risks. The ideas are developed in stages and illustrated with examples of real life decisions. The subject is transparent and despite some mathematics, it is easy to understand why it is done the way it is along the lines discussed here.


Analytic Hierarchy Process decision-making prioritization negative priorities rating benefits opportunities costs risks 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas L. Saaty
    • 1
  1. 1.Katz Graduate School of Business University of PittsburghUSA

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