Application Status and Progress of Analytic Hierarchy Process in Design Research: Bibliometric Analysis Based on Citespace
Authors: Junhui Sun
Abstract: Background：Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) refers to the hierarchical process of the complex decision-making system and the transformation of multi-factor decision-making into multi-level single-factor problems. In recent years, the application of AHP in Design Research (referred to as AHP-DR) has attracted more and more attention. As a result, a large amount of research literature with diverse knowledge structures and a visible interdisciplinary nature has been produced. But it is hard to reflect the actual application situation of AHP-DR only through the summary and analysis of the traditional literature review method. Based on this, this paper uses the relevant literature collected in the Web of Science database as the data source, visualizes the knowledge structure of the retrieval data through scientific bibliometrics and comprehensively analyzes the research situation and development trend of AHP-DR.Objectives：This paper mainly researches the application of AHP-DR by answering the following three questions: (1) Which countries, institutions and scholars are the application subjects of AHP-DR? (2) What are the hotspot research topics of AHP-DR? What are the future frontier trends? (3) What are the topics and paradigms of AHP-DR high-impact literature research?Methods：This paper uses the methods of bibliometrics and information visualization. To obtain more rigorous and comprehensive data indicators, VOSviewer and CiteSpace (two pieces of bibliometric visualization software) were used to draw a map of scientific knowledge such as cooperative countries co-occurrence network, keywords co-occurrence clustering network and reference co-citation clustering network so as to conduct an empirical analysis on the retrieved data. In this paper, the Web of Science database is selected to retrieve the journal and paper data related to AHP-DR. In order to ensure the authority and research value of literature data, only SCI, SSCI and A&HCI were selected as the search source, with TS=(("Analytic Hierarchy Proces" OR "AHP") AND ("design")) as the search criteria and an unlimited time span. Finally, 1403 retrieved papers published from 2015 to 2022 were exported as TXT files in the format of "fully recorded and cited references" to generate a visual knowledge map for quantitative analysis.Results：(1) The paper output related to AHP-DR shows an overall upward trend, with University Politecn Valencia, Istanbul Technical University and Islamic Azad University as the primary output institutions. In addition, cooperative research among scholars is not close, and sporadic cooperation among institutions is the main research type. This is also the current situation of AHP-DR research. (2) Nowadays, the research hotspots of AHP-DR include fuzzy ahp, selection, management, decision-making, optimization and sustainability, which are mainly applied to "evaluation and decision-making" problems. The combination of AHP and other methods mainly involves topsis, fuzzy topsis and MCDM, etc, making AHP bear an interdisciplinary attribute. (3) At present, a bulk of influential and highly-cited literature on AHP-DR has been generated. They constitute the classic cases and knowledge base of the application of AHP-DR and provide a research basis for the subsequent application of AHP.Conclusion：With the accelerated process of design research and more detailed research fields, it is still a long way to go to explore a suitable way for AHP-DR to be applied in the design field.
Keywords: Analytic Hierarchy Process, Design Research, Knowledge Graph, Cite Space, VOSviewer
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