Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Scenario planning in the analytic hierarchy process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Open Access permissions



School/Research organisations


Multicriteria decision analysis and scenario planning are complementary tools for supporting large‐scale, strategic decision making, but there has been limited interaction between the fields. This paper describes how scenario planning can be integrated with the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), one of the most popular approaches in decision analysis and one that is arguably more accessible for new users. Scenario planners looking for an avenue into multi‐criteria decision analysis may find the AHP a useful introduction, and AHP practitioners may find in scenario planning a tool with which to address problems with large, structural or “deep” uncertainties. A common understanding of scenarios as plausible futures, rather than states of nature, is emphasized, as is how scenarios can be viewed as a kind of “meta‐attribute” over which possible courses of action can be compared. A simulation experiment assesses the potential effects of ignoring scenario‐specific information, as well as of different ways of constructing scenarios.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16
Number of pages12
JournalFutures & Foresight Science
VolumeEarly View
Early online date2 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Analytic hierarchy process, Decision analysis, Multicriteria games, Scenario Planning

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Breeding systems of floral colour forms in the Drosera cistiflora species complex

    von Witt, C. G., Anderson, B., Durbach, I. N. & Johnson, S. D., 24 Jul 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Plant Biology. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Lombard effect: minke whale boing call source levels vary with natural variations in ocean noise

    Helble, T. A., Guazzo, R. A., Martin, C. R., Durbach, I. N., Alongi, G. C., Martin, S. W., Boyle, J. K. & Henderson, E. E., 3 Feb 2020, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 147, 2, p. 698-712 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Scenario planning as strategic activity: a practice-orientated approach

    Bowman, G. & MacKay, R. B., 3 Feb 2020, In : Futures & Foresight Science. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 258447547