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Map-Based Exploratory Evaluation of Non-Medical Determinants of Population Health

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Multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) and decision-making are increasingly combined with interactive tools to assist users with visual thinking and exploring decision strategies. The interactive control of criterion combination rules and the simultaneous observation of geographic space and criterion space provide a means of investigating the sensitivity of the decision outcome to the decision-maker's preferences. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is an MCE method that has been successfully implemented in management processes including those addressed by Geographic Information Systems. In this paper, we present a map-based, interactive AHP implementation, which provides a link between a well-understood decision support method and exploratory geographic visualization. Using a case study with public health data for the Province of Ontario, Canada, we demonstrate that exploratory map use increases the effectiveness of the AHP-based evaluation of population health.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography University of Toronto

Publication date: July 1, 2006


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