The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), introduced by Thomas Saaty (1980), is a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis application commonly encountered in the natural resource management literature. By reducing complex decisions to a series of pairwise comparisons, and then synthesizing the results, it helps to capture both subjective and objective aspects of a decision. In addition, the AHP incorporates allows for checking the consistency of the decision maker’s evaluations, thus reducing the bias in the decision making process.
The Analytic Hierarchy Process is an effective tool for dealing with complex decision making and may aid the decision maker to set priorities and make the best decision. It is essentially a variant of Multi-Attribute Value Theory designed to minimise the elicitation burden on experts and decision makers.