The purpose of this study is to evaluate a number of alternative programs for the efficient utilization of natural gas in Korea. To achieve this purpose, we use decision analytic method developed by Saaty, T.L. (1980), called AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process).
The AHP is a comprehensive framework which is designed to cope with the intuitive, the rational, and the irrational when we make multiobjective, multicriterion and multi-actor decisions with and without certainty for any number of alternative. It is a method for deriving ratio scales used to integrate our procedure for representing the elements of any problem. It organizes the basic rationality by breaking down a problem into its smaller constituent parts and then calls for only simple pairwise comparison judgment to develop priority in each hierarchy.
The results of this study are as follows ;
Among six alternative programs, the criterion and/or actors favor the use as a fuel for electric power generation mostly. But the best decision alternative never seems to outweigh others clearly. The reason is that each program is not exactly mutually exclusive decision alternative under all condition. On the other hand, because our framework for evaluating programs is static, mainly setting limits to an early stage of growing market, it is possible that the ranking of each program is reversed easily under different stage in a growing natural gas market. It suggests that the evaluation of the best utilization program of natural gas in a growing market should be formulated dynamically.
Future research, therefore, will be needed to formulate the framework of evaluating decision alternatives more realistically, that is, the formulation of decision structure may be extended to time dependent and dynamic structure. And also, if possible, it seems to be more desirable for its framework to capture the uncertainty experienced by decision makers in making pairwise comparison.