Hospital site selection using fuzzy AHP and its derivatives

J Environ Manage. 2009 Jul;90(10):3048-56. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2009.04.010. Epub 2009 May 28.


Environmental managers are commonly faced with sophisticated decisions, such as choosing the location of a new facility subject to multiple conflicting criteria. This paper considers the specific problem of creating a well-distributed network of hospitals that delivers its services to the target population with minimal time, pollution and cost. We develop a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis process that combines Geographical Information System (GIS) analysis with the Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process (FAHP), and use this process to determine the optimum site for a new hospital in the Tehran urban area. The GIS was used to calculate and classify governing criteria, while FAHP was used to evaluate the decision factors and their impacts on alternative sites. Three methods were used to estimate the total weights and priorities of the candidate sites: fuzzy extent analysis, center-of-area defuzzification, and the alpha-cut method. The three methods yield identical priorities for the five alternatives considered. Fuzzy extent analysis provides less discriminating power, but is simpler to implement and compute than the other two methods. The alpha-cut method is more complicated, but integrates the uncertainty and overall attitude of the decision-maker. The usefulness of the new hospital site is evaluated by computing an accessibility index for each pixel in the GIS, defined as the ratio of population density to travel time. With the addition of a new hospital at the optimum site, this index improved over about 6.5 percent of the geographical area.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Hospital Planning / methods*
  • Models, Theoretical*