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Deriving Criteria Weights for Health Decision Making: A Brief Tutorial

Creative Commons 'BY' version 3.0 license

When it matters most, to make decisions, set priorities, or allocate resources we must rank and select among available options ("alternatives"). To accomplish this we develop and weight criteria, and then evaluate the alternatives against these criteria. More important criteria should have higher weights. For important decisions we should use science-based, objective measurements and methods to derive criteria weights. In this tutorial we cover how to use the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to derive criteria weights. More specifically, we illustrate how to conduct pair-wise comparisons of criteria with respect to importance, likelihood, or preference. For numerical calculations, we use R---an open source programming language for statistical computing and graphics.

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