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Effects of increasing fuzziness on analytic hierarchy process for spatial multicriteria decision analysis
National University of Ireland, National Centre for Geocomputation.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management. (Geomatik / Geomatics)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3884-3084
2012 (English)In: Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, ISSN 0198-9715, Vol. 36, no 1, 43-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) involves techniques which relatively recently have received great increase in interest for their capabilities of solving spatial decision problems. One of the most frequently used techniques of MCDA is Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). In the AHP, decision-makers make pairwise comparisons between different criteria to obtain values of their relative importance. The AHP initially only dealt with crisp numbers or exact values in the pairwise comparisons, but later it has been modified and adapted to also consider fuzzy values. It is necessary to empirically validate the ability of the fuzzified AHP for solving spatial problems. Further, the effects of different levels of fuzzification on the method have to be studied. In the context of a hypothetical GIS-based decision-making problem of locating a dam in Costa Rica using real-world data, this paper illustrates and compares the effects of increasing levels of uncertainty exemplified through different levels of fuzzification of the AHP. Practical comparison of the methods in this work, in accordance with the theoretical research, revealed that by increasing the level of uncertainty or fuzziness in the fuzzy AHP, differences between results of the conventional and fuzzy AHPs become more significant. These differences in the results of the methods may affect the final decisions in decision-making processes. This study concludes that the AHP is sensitive to the level of fuzzification and decision-makers should be aware of this sensitivity while using the fuzzy AHP. Furthermore, the methodology described may serve as a guideline on how to perform a sensitivity analysis in spatial MCDA. Depending on the character of criteria weights, i.e. the degree of fuzzification, and its impact on the results of a selected decision rule (e.g. AHP), the results from a fuzzy analysis may be used to produce sensitivity estimates for crisp AHP MCDA methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2012. Vol. 36, no 1, 43-53 p.
Keyword [en]
Multicriteria decision analysis, Analytic hierarchy process, Fuzzy logic, Sensitivity analysis, Geographical information systems
National Category
Other Civil Engineering Water Engineering Remote Sensing Ocean and River Engineering Physical Geography Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources Other Computer and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-10050DOI: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2011.07.004ISI: 000300128000004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84855509013OAI: diva2:439486
Available from: 2011-09-07 Created: 2011-09-07 Last updated: 2015-10-06Bibliographically approved

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