A bibliometric-based survey on AHP and TOPSIS techniques

Shaher H. Zyoud*, Daniela Fuchs-Hanusch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In recent years, the employment of multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) techniques in solving complex real-world problems has increased exponentially. The willingness to build advanced decision models, with higher capabilities to support decision making in a wide range of applications, promotes the integration of MCDA techniques with efficient systems such as intelligence and expert systems, geographic information systems, etc. Amongst the most applied MCDA techniques are Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). The development of a comprehensive perspective on research activities associated with the applications of these methods provides insights into the contributions of countries, institutes, authors and journals towards the advancements of these methods. Furthermore, it helps in identifying the status and trends of research. This in turn will help researchers in shaping up and improving future research activities and investments. To meet these aims, a bibliometric analysis based on data harvested from Scopus database was carried out to identify a set of bibliometric performance indicators (i.e. quantitative indicators such as productivity, and qualitative indicators such as citations and Hirsch index (h-index)). Additionally, bibliometric visualization maps were employed to identify the hot spots of research. The total research output was 10,188 documents for AHP and 2412 documents for TOPSIS. China took a leading position in AHP research (3513 documents; 34.5%). It was also the leading country in TOPSIS research (846 documents; 35.1%). The most collaborated country in AHP research was the United States, while in case of TOPSIS it was China. The United States had gained the highest h-index (78) in AHP research, while in TOPSIS it was Taiwan with h-index of 46. Expert Systems with Applications journal was the most productive journal in AHP (204; 2.0%) and TOPSIS research (125; 5.2%), simultaneously. University of Tehran, Iran and Islamic Azad University, Iran were the most productive institutions in AHP (173; 1.7%) and TOPSIS (115; 4.8%) research, simultaneously. The major hot topics that utilized AHP and will continue to be active include different applications of geographic information systems, risk modeling and supply chain management. While for TOPSIS, they are supply chain management and sustainability research. Overall, this analysis has shown increasing recognition of powerful of MCDA techniques to support strategic decisions. The efficacy of these methods in the previous context promotes their progress and advancements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-181
Number of pages24
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2017


  • Bibliometric maps
  • Citation
  • Impact factor
  • Multiple criteria decision analysis
  • Operation research
  • Scopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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