Using Treemaps to visualize the Analytic Hierarchy Process

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1998-10-15

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Treemaps, a visualization method for large hierarchical data spaces, are used to augment the capabilities of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for decision-making. Two direct manipulation tools, presented metaphorically as a pump and a hook, were developed and applied to the treemap to support AHP sensitivity analysis. Users can change the importance of criteria dynamically on the two-dimensional treemap and immediately see
the impact on the outcome of the decision. This fluid process dramatically speeds up exploration and provides a better understanding of the relative impact of the component criteria. A usability study with 6 subjects using a prototype AHP application showed that treemap representation was acceptable from a visualization and data operation standpoint. (Also cross-referenced as ISR-TR-94-45) (Also cross-referenced as CAR-TR-719)

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