The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is a scoring procedure that uses a high-precision method both for weighting criteria and comparing alternatives; the scores are scaled, summed, and normalized to give final "goodness" measures to the alternatives. These measures can then be the basis for selection, ranking, or allocation among the alternatives. The Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) is a computer model that determines highway improvement needs by maximizing its "composite index", a performance measurement function that is a weighted sum of nine quantified highway condition factors for the sections of the road system. The weights are the relative priorities given to each of the condition factors. The results are sensitive to the component weights in this performance function, and some states have modified the national average default values in the model to better represent their own specific road condition priorities. Failure to represent these weights correctly would cause the model to optimize with the wrong priorities, producing a highway investment strategy inappropriate for that state. An empirical examination of the extent of uncertainty about what the index weights should be and whether AHP can improve the confidence of this determination relative to the usual single-step approach is presented. The study finds that because the AHP method does not produce the numerical biases seen in the single-step method, the AHP apparently yields these subjective preferences with greater precision. This is a promising approach for assessing competing multimodal projects, where a structured and rigorous method will be useful in scoring the alternatives and weighting the many criteria. These criteria will correspond to the necessarily multiple performance measures of a multimodal system such as time, cost, safety, reliability, and environmental impacts.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 7-14
  • Monograph Title: Multimodal priority setting and application of geographic information systems
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00662859
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309055075
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 19 1994 12:00AM