# Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process for Wicked Risk Problems

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1 Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process for Wicked Risk Problems

2 Introduction It has become more and more difficult to see the world around us in a uni-dimensional way and to use only a single criterion when judging what we see Zeleny, M Multiple Criteria Decision Making, McGraw-Hill, New York.

3 Introduction Many regulatory problems involve multiple objectives and goals. For example: chemical eradication measures for an exotic invasive species involves concerns such as: Safety Health Environment Cost

4 Another example: Introduction How to prioritize the selection of organisms as the focus of: Survey activities, e.g., CAPS Response documents, e.g., NPRGs Recovery documents, e.g., NPDRS

5 There is a potential problem with these endeavors: How do you provide a means of integrating/comparing performance measures and decision criteria with stakeholder and decision-maker values? AND Provide a means of communicating and comparing trade-offs for planning and further understanding?

6 There are a number of multi-criteria methods that can be utilized to facilitate individual or group decision-making: 1. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) 2. AHP Combined Method 3. Fuzzy AHP 4. Fuzzy AHP Combined 5. Fuzzy AHP Group 6. Group Evaluation Method 7. Weighted Sum Method (WSM) 8. Weighted Product Method (WPM)

7 We ll focus on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)

8 AHP AHP was first introduced by Thomas Saaty in 1970s. The approach is to structure a problem as a hierarchy, or a set of integrated levels. Problems are structured in at least three levels: The goal: what will AHP measure, e.g., prioritize organisms for survey activities The criteria: elements integral to attaining the goal, e.g., biological effects, economic effects, etc. The alternatives: the organisms of concern requires individual or group to provide judgments about relative importance of each criterion; then specify a preference for each alternative on each criterion.

9 AHP Step 1: Forming the Hierarchy The first step in the AHP is to develop a graphical representation of the problem in terms of a goal, criteria, and alternatives. Goal Criterion Criterion Criterion Subcriterion Subcriterion Subcriterion Subcriterion Subcriterion Subcriterion Subcriterion Subcriterion Alternative Alternative Alternative

10 Pairwise Comparison The next step is to make pair-wise comparisons, i.e., compare the elements in pairs against a given sub-criterion or criterion. To compare elements, ask: how much more (less) strongly is this element preferred than the element with which it is being compared? The AHP employs a scale with values from 1 to 9 to designate the relative preference of one element over another. Criterion 1, 2,... Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Alternative n Alternative 1 A 1 /A 1 A 1 /A 2 A 1 /A n Alternative 2 A 2 /A 1 A 2 /A 2 A 2 /A n Alternative n A n /A 1 A n /A 2 A n /A n

11 Pairwise Comparisons Preference Scale Equally preferred Equally to Moderately preferred Moderately preferred Moderately to Strongly preferred Strongly preferred Strongly to Very Strongly preferred Very Strongly preferred Very Strongly to Extremely preferred Extremely preferred Numerical Rating The 9-point pair-wise comparison scale: X to Y = 1 Equal importance X to Y = 3 X moderately favored X to Y = 5 X strongly favored X to Y = 7 X clearly dominant X to Y = 9 X super dominant Use reciprocals for inverse comparisons; Weights can be used instead of 1-9 scale. Note: X to Y = 3 implies Y to X = 1/3

12 WEIGHTS The AHP uses eigenvalues and eigenvectors to compute criteria, sub-criteria, and alternative weights for each factor based on the pairwise comparisons. Final alternative weights are determined using a simple weighted average computation.

13 Apple A Apple B Apple C Three apples of different (but known) sizes*. Assess their relative sizes by forming ratios. Size Comparison* Apple A Apple B Apple C Apple A S A /S A S A /S B S A /S C Apple B S B / S A S B / S B S B / S C Apple C S C / S A S C / S S C / S C * A is 2x larger than B, and 6x larger than 3

14 Size Apple A Apple B Apple C Size Comparison Apple A Apple B Apple C Relative Priority Relative Size of Apple Apple A A Apple B 1/2 1 6/2 0.3 B Apple C 1/6 2/ C

15 CONSISTENCY Consistency of judgments can also be measured (important when three or more items are being compared). We saw previously that Apple A was 2x larger than Apple B, and 6x larger than Apple C. To be perfectly consistent, Apple B must be 3x larger than Apple C. AHP does not require perfect consistency. However, it does provide a measure of consistency.

16 AHP Software Decision Lens Expert Choice As decision support tools, these programs help with the creation of the hierarchy, synthesis of priorities, and checking consistency. Also have the capability of conducting sensitivity analysis (measuring the impact that changes to the criteria weights have on the final alternative weights).

17 AHP Advantages Unity can construct single, easily understood, flexible models for a broad range of unstructured problems. Complexity - integrates deductive and inductive reasoning in solving complex problems. Interdependence elements can be interdependent. Hierarchic Structuring utilizes the natural tendency of people to sort elements of a system into different levels and to group like elements. Measurement can utilize a scale for measuring intangible elements; provides a method for establishing priorities.

18 AHP Advantages (cont.) Consistency - does not require judgments to be consistent. Synthesis determines the relative importance of the criteria in meeting a goal. Trade-offs considers the relative priorities of factors in a system; enables decision-makers to select the best alternative based on their goals. Judgment and Consensus - does not require consensus; synthesizes a representative outcome from diverse judgments. Process Repetition - enables the refinement of the definition of a problem; improves judgment and understanding through repetition.

19 Using AHP, you can actually compare apples and oranges...

20 Thank you. Questions

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