Jumat, 03 April 2015

INTRODUCTION TO DECISION MAKING USING THE ANALYTIC NETWORK PROCESS (ANP)


The power of the Analytic Network Process (ANP) lies in its use of ratio scales to capture all kinds of interactions and make accurate predictions, and, even further, to make better decisions.   So far, it has proven itself to be a success when expert knowledge was used with it to predict sports outcomes, economic turns, business, social and political events.

The ANP is the first mathematical theory that makes it possible for us to deal systematically with all kinds of dependence and feedback.  The reason for its success is the way it elicits judgments and uses measurement to derive ratio scales.   Priorities as ratio scales are a fundamental kind of number amenable to performing the basic arithmetic operations of adding within the same scale and multiplying different scales meaningfully as required by the ANP.

The Analytic Network Process (ANP) is a new theory that extends the AHP to cases of dependence and feedback and generalizes on the supermatrix approach introduced in Thomas Saaty’s 1980 book on the Analytic Hierarchy Process. It allows interactions and feedback within clusters (inner dependence) and between clusters (outer dependence). Feedback can better capture the complex effects of interplay in human society. The ANP provides a thorough framework to include clusters of elements connected in any desired way to investigate the process of deriving ratio scales priorities from the distribution of influence among elements and among clusters. The AHP becomes a special case of the ANP. Although many decision problems are best studied through the ANP, it is not true that forcing an ANP model always yields better results than using the hierarchies of the AHP. There are examples to justify the use of both. We have yet to learn when the shortcut of the hierarchy is justified, not simply on grounds of expediency and efficiency, but also for reasons of validity of the outcome.