Analytic Hierarchy Process
The Analytic Hierarchy Process is a tool that was introduced by Thomas Saaty (1980). The tool comes in handy when there is need for handling complex decision making. It can assist the decision maker in setting priorities and making wise decisions. Through the use of this tool, one is able to reduce complex decisions to a series of comparisons that can be easily comprehended for synthesized results. The AHP helps in capturing both subjective and objective elements of a given decision. Besides, the Analytic Hierarchy Process also incorporates a useful technique for checking the consistency of the evaluations of the decision maker. This can go a long way in toning down the bias that exists in the process of making decisions.
In order to get the best results or enhance better decision making with the Analytic Hierarchy Process, there is a set of evaluation criteria and alternative options that are considered. It should be noted that there are certain criteria that could be contrasting. Thus, it is not automatic that the best option is that which optimizes every single criterion, instead, the one that gets the best trade-off among the various criteria.
When using this tool, it is important to note that the higher the weight, the more important the corresponding criterion. On the other hand, there is a score that is assigned to every option by the AHP for a fixed criterion based on the pair wise comparisons of the person making the decision. It can be argued that the higher the score, the more enhanced the performance of the option with regards to the criterion that is considered. In order to produce the anticipated results, the tool combines the options scores and criteria weights to give the global score for every option and ranking.
In order for you to have the best understanding of Analytic Hierarchy Process, it is important that you are acquainted with its features. One of its features is flexibility based on the simplicity in the way that it operates. The computations that are made by the tool are always based on the experience of the decision maker. Thus, the AHP can be considered as a tool that can easily be used in the translation of qualitative and quantitative evaluations that are done by the person making the decision into ranking for various criteria. In case the decision maker would want to reduce the works, the tool can be automated partially or completely through the specification of suitable thresholds to automatically choose comparisons that can be paired.
After you have achieved the results that you wanted from using the Analytic Hierarchy Process, you can now move to the implementation stage. There are three consecutive steps to be followed in the implementation of the results. These simple steps include computing the vector of criteria weights, computing the matrix of option scores and finally ranking the options. The Analytic Hierarchy Process can be an effective tool for a group of people working on complex problems that involve human perceptions and judgments with long-term impacts.
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