Lest it cause more confusion, I'm removing this post. I'm so so sorry if this is way too blunt to remove an article this way. I'm having way too much trouble with the formatting of the article on this site.

Among other things, the article seems got cut off later on, the rest not being displayed after a successful posting. Article too long I guess. I don't want to keep fixing it while people are viewing.

I'll consult with some monks on the matter. In the meantime, please delete this post.

  • Comment on (removed by author, formatting problem) Prioritization: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach

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Re: Prioritization: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach
by Callum (Chaplain) on Jul 07, 2003 at 10:51 UTC
    Splendid article, great intro to AHP for people that haven't come accross it before.

    You say near the end that "the process of AHP itself ... is probably often more valuable than whatever quantitative statistics found" and this cannot be stressed enough -- although there is often merit in being able to say that "the blivit's priority is 43%" there is always great benefit in the analysis that leads up to this.

    Indeed one of the potential problems faced during AHP analysis is the risk of small groups of rankers skewing the ratings -- you touch on this in the "averaging" section, and advocate weighting to mitigate the distortion, but I would stress to anyone employing AHP or similar processes that it is vital that the initial ratings are as reliable as possible, since skewed ratings can quickly destroy any quantitative benefit you draw from this, and indeed incorrect quantitative results may harm the qualitative/procedural benefit drawn from undertaking the analysis by supplying misleading conclusions.

    All in all though a superb article, and definately one I shall refer others to.

Re: Prioritization: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach
by dws (Chancellor) on Jul 07, 2003 at 17:43 UTC
    I applaud the work you've put into this, but as an introduction to AHP, it needs some work.

    In no particular order:

    • You need a simple description of what AHP does. To my eye, you're not quite there. Try something like:
      "AHP is a technique for calculating an overall ranking and prioritization of items. Each distinct pair of items is presented, and a degree of preference for one item over the other is obtained. AHP uses these pairwise preferences to derive an overall ranking and an indication of consistency."

    • The initial table should be vertical. Nobody in their right mind lays out a table of alternatives horizontally. Ditto for tables 13-15.

    • By mentioning eigenevalues and eigenvectors in the opening paragraphs, you risk scaring people off. Eigenvalues aren't important to the discussion until you start talking about model consistency. (And when you're using AHP to help prioritize a feature set, model consistency doesn't really end up being that important. Breaking the "It's ALL important!" logjam is often value enough.)

    • If you mentiond the mapping of 1/9 to "Strongly prefer A over B", I missed it.

    • You mention that Perl scripts will be included, but then don't include them.

    • Using colors makes for a confusing example. For this audience, it might be more compelling to rank programming languages.

    • References. You mention Saaty. Cite his paper.

    • In any set of items, there may be a few "Go/No Go" items. As in "If we don't have this feature, then we don't have a product. Nothing else matters." Identify these early, and pull them out of the list. Having them "prioritized" makes little sense.

    One of the more powerful uses of AHP is to expose the priorities of different groups of people (e.g., Developers vs. Marketing), so that those differences can get out into the open where they can be discussed. By forcing people (well, Marketing people) to consider alternatives pairwise, you can break the "Everything is Critical!" logjam.

Re: (removed by author, formatting problem) Prioritization: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach
by Louis_Wu (Chaplain) on Jul 08, 2003 at 01:40 UTC
    Let me encourage you to repost this when you get the formatting figured out and fixed. From the comments so far, I want to read your article. It would be a shame for some clerical details to keep this from seeing the light of day.

    Perl programming and scheduling in the corporate world, as explained by dragonchild:
    "Uhh ... that'll take me three weeks, broken down as follows: 1 day for coding, the rest for meetings to explain why I only need 1 day for coding."

      Or even just post it somewhere else and link to it.

Re: Prioritization: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach
by vek (Prior) on Jul 07, 2003 at 18:27 UTC

    chunlou++ for the amount of effort you put into this writeup. Nice job.

    -- vek --
Re: (removed by author, formatting problem) Prioritization: An Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach
by YAFZ (Pilgrim) on Jul 08, 2003 at 12:08 UTC
    Nice & important article. I'd be glad to translate your article into Turkish and publish it. Please do not hesitate to inform me when you are finished with it (or if it resides at some other URL).

    BTW, I believe it would be much improved if you take dws' points into account.

    Hope you handle these things and make us happy :)