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Introduction to Super Decisions

The Super Decisions software is used for decision-making with dependence and feedback (it implements the Analytic Network Process, ANP, with many additions). Such problems often occur in real life. Super Decisions extends the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) that uses the same fundamental prioritization process based on deriving priorities through judgments on pairs of elements or from direct measurements. In the AHP the elements are arranged in a hierarchic decision structure while the ANP uses one or more flat networks of clusters that contain the elements. Most decision-making methods assume independence between the criteria of a decision and the alternatives of that decision, or simply among the criteria or among the alternatives themselves. The ANP is not limited by such assumptions. It allows for all possible and potential dependencies.

The ANP does not limit human understanding and experience to force decision-making into a highly technical model that is unnatural and contrived. It is in essence a formalization of how people usually think, and it helps the decision-maker keep track of the process as the complexity of the problem and the diversity of its factors increase. The best testimony of the power and success of the ANP are those applications that have been done that derived priorities that corresponded with known answers in the real world or that have predicted outcomes. From that perspective it is a reliable and objective approach for making decisions based on priorities and importance with which one has had experience. It is rather different than making guesses about the probabilities of occurrence as some decision-making methods would have you do.