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Title: The Analytic Hierarchy Process and Participatory Decisionmaking

Author: Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Smith, Robert L.;

Date: 1995

Source: Proceedings, Decision Support - 2001. pp. 129-143.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Managing natural resource lands requires social, as well as biophysical, considerations. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to accurately assess and quantify changing social preferences, and to aggregate conflicting opinions held by diverse social groups. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) provides a systematic, explicit, rigorous, and robust mechanism for eliciting and quantifying subjective judgments. It has been applied in many socio-economic planning situations. In the AHP, a hierarchy is used to organize decision-making criteria. Pairwise comparisons are made between criteria at each level of the hierarchy and between possible alternative courses of action (decisions). These comparisons lead to priority vectors which are propagated through the hierarchy to arrive at a final priority vector for the set of decisions alternatives. There are several ways in which the AHP can be used to permit natural resource clientele to engage in participatory decisionmaking. Several types of hierarchies, several hierarchy creation techniques, and two judgment elicitation approaches provide for flexible adaptation of the AHP method. These different scenarios are conceptually described, and brief examples are included from resources management planning and from highway bridge design. The flexibility of the AHP in a variety of decision-making scenarios makes it a useful tool for including disparate participants in a fair and objective manner.

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Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Smith, Robert L. 1995. The Analytic Hierarchy Process and Participatory Decisionmaking. Proceedings, Decision Support - 2001. pp. 129-143.


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