Multi-criteria evaluation for pavement management maintenance using HDM-4

D Cafiso, A Di Grazziano, Rupiny Kerali, Jennaro Odoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)


Multicriteria analysis (MCA) provides a framework for breaking a problem into its constituent parts. MCA provides a means to investigate a number of alternatives in light of conflicting priorities. By structuring a problem within the MCA framework, alternatives may be ranked according to preestablished preferences to achieve defined objectives. A method developed for providing an MCA framework within the Highway Development and Management Tools, Version 4 (HDM-4) is described. Factors such as social benefits, environmental effects, safety impact, strategic importance of roads, and so forth have been included, within a unified decision-making framework. The analytic hierarchy process method was selected for HDM-4 because it transforms the analysis of competing objectives to a series of simple comparisons between constituent elements. The approach does not require a definition of trade-offs between the possible values of each attribute (i.e., it is not necessary to build utility functions), and it allows users to understand how outcomes are reached and how weightings influence outcomes. A pilot implementation checked the applicability of the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method to road management and analyzed the effectiveness of outputs. Results obtained using HDM-4 economic criteria were compared with those produced by AHP. For the pilot implementation, the HDM-4 strategic planning application was chosen because it is the level in which, generally, medium- or long-term programs must be defined along with economic and other social and environmental aspects to justify budget allocations. Five main criteria were identified with regard to road maintenance budget allocations that constrain the decision-making process: comfort; environment, safety, road agency costs, and road user costs. Prioritization based on MCA more evenly distributes the available budget when compared with prioritization based on economic criteria, which tends to favor roads with high volumes of traffic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number02-3898
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


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