Background on the AHP

The AHP methodology was invented by Thomas L. Saaty in the 1970s. He published his original work on the theory in 1980 while

I thank the consulting team of Expert Choice for their valuable comments and improvements on this chapter. The screen captures in this chapter are from the Expert Choice Resource Aligner product, developed by Ernest H. Forman of Expert Choice.

teaching at the Wharton School of Business.1 Saaty developed the methodology to address a need for improved and more intuitive decision-making processes where multiple objectives, criteria, and alternatives existed and where the interests of multiple stakeholders were involved. In his research, he discovered that the human mind is innately capable of making difficult decisions when those decisions are properly structured and measured in a way that simplifies comparison. He designed the AHP to leverage the brain's intuitive-ness, in conjunction with both qualitative and quantitative information, to yield more accurate priorities and better decisions.

The validity of the AHP methodology is based in large part on its widespread appeal, ease of use, and the reasonableness of its outcomes.2 Since the 1970s, corporate and government leaders and academicians have successfully used the AHP in many thousands of important decisions on resource allocation, strategic planning, risk assessment, project portfolio selection and analysis, and vendor selection. The methodology is perhaps the most widely used decision-making methodology in existence.

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