Published Feb 28, 2018
KarMun Kaw Latifah Abd Manaf


Dams are built ancient structures, which serve to retain, collect, and store water. Over the years, the function of dams has been diversified to flood prevention, water level regulation, and even recreational purposes. However, selecting a suitable type of dam based on the characteristics of a potential dam site is consistently a concern in the preliminary construction stage. Therefore, this study attempts to integrate the Delphi technique and Analytical Hierarchy Process (D-AHP) to develop a set of influential attributes, which assists in the selection of a suitable type of dam for the potential dam site. These influential attributes are determined based on comprehensive literature reviews and corroborated by twelve experts from relevant fields through three rounds of interviews. Using the Delphi technique, 9 important criteria and 25 sub-criteria are finalized. Expert’s judgments are measured through pairwise comparisons to derive eigenvectors. Based on prioritisation of AHP, the gravity dam scores the highest total weight, and is selected as the optimal type of dam for Bungoh catchment. The selection of the gravity dam is quantified based on the developed influential attributes, which include environmental criteria, social criteria, and engineering criteria. Essentially, the selection takes the characteristics of the potential dam site into account during the pairwise comparison process. In this context, the developed set of influential attributes could objectively assist related organizations in their decision making process. These attributes are also applicable in the preliminary stage of any dam development project.[1] 

This work is supported by Exploratory Research Grant Scheme (ERGS/1/11/STWN/UPM/02/8-5527027)


How to Cite



Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 1206 | PDF Downloads 206



Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), Delphi technique, Multi-criteria decision making (MCDM), Dam type

Adamcsek, E. (2008). The Analytical Hierarchy Process and its generalizations. Eötvös Loránd University.

Anglin, G. L. (1991). Instructional technology past, present and future. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited Inc.

Arai, O., Baba, K., & Hirose, T. (2009). Selection of type of dams and reservoirs. In Y. Takahasi (Ed.), Water storage, transport, and distribution (pp. 103–113). Tokyo, Japan.

Armstrong, E. L. (1977). Selection of the type of dam. In A. R. Golze (Ed.), Handbook of dam engineering (pp. 267–289). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Arof, A. (2015). The application of a combined Delphi-AHP method in maritime transport research - a review. Asian Social Science, 11(23), 73–82. Doi:

Azami, K., Takemoto, M., Otsuka, Y., Yamagishi, S., & Nakazawa, S. (2012). Meteorology and species composition of plant communities, birds and fishes before and after initial impoundment of Miharu Dam Reservoir, Japan. Landscape and Ecological Engineering, 8, 81–105. Doi:

Beck, M. W., Claassen, A. H., & Hundt, P. J. (2013). Environmental and livelihood impacts of dams: common lessons across development gradients that challenge sustainability. International Journal of River Basin Management, 10(1), 73–92. Doi:

Becue, J.-P., Degoutte, G., & Lautrin, D. (2002). Choice of site and type of dam. In Small Dams - Guidelines for Design, Construction and Monitoring (pp. 17–22). France: Cemagref Editions and Engref.

Bell, F. G. (1993). Engineering Geology. London: Blackwell Scientific.

Brooks, K. W. (1979). Delphi technique: expanding applications. North Central Association Quarterly, 54(3), 377–385.

Bureau of Reclamation, B. (1987). Design of small dams. Denver, Colorado: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Chaves, S., Mazzon, J. A., & de Souza, C. A. (2012). Proposition of a method to measure rankings using the Delphi technique. Future Studies Research Journal, 4(2), 52–75. Doi:

Chung, C. C., & Her, M. T. (2013). Port state control perception of the safe management of bulk carrier. In Proceedings of the International Forum on Shipping, Ports & Airports (IFSPA) (pp. 435–444). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Coyle, G. (2004). The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). Principal Strategy. Open Access Material, (1980), 1–11.

Custer, R. L., Scarcella, J. A., & Stewart, B. R. (1999). The modified Delphi technique: a rotational modification. Journal of Vocational and Technical Education, 15(2), 1–10. Doi:

Cyphert, F. R., & Gant, W. L. (1971). The Delphi technique: a case study. Phi Delta Kappan, 52, 272–273.

Da Cruz, M. R. P., Ferreira, J. J., & Azevedo, S. G. (2013). Key factors of seaport competitiveness based on stakeholder perspective: an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) model. Maritime Economics & Logistics, 15(4), 416–443. Doi:

Dalkey, N.C. and Helmer, O. (1963). An experimental application of the Delphi method to the use of experts. Management Science, 9(3), 458–467. Doi:

Dalkey, N. C., & Rourke, D. L. (1972). Experimental assessment of Delphi procedures with group value judgments. In N. C. Dalkey, D. L. Rourke, R. Lewis, & D. Snyder (Eds.), Studies in the quality of life: Delphi and decision-making (pp. 55–83). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Deere, D. U. (1976). Dams on rock foundation, some design questions. In Rock Engineering for Foundations and Slopes: Proceedings Speciality Conference (pp. 55–85). CO: ASCE, Boulder.

Emiroglu, M. E. (2008). Influences on selection of the type of dam. International Journal of Science & Technology, 3(2), 173–189.

Forman, E., & Peniwati, K. (1998). Aggregating individual judgments and priorities with the Analytic Hierarchy Process. European Journal of Operational Research, 108, 165–169. Doi:

Gawlik, R. (2008). Preliminary criteria reduction for the application of Analytical Hierarchy Process method (No. 45348). Retrieved from

Hsu, C., & Sandford, B. A. (2007). The Delphi technique: making sense of consensus. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 12(10), 1–8.

Jacobs, J. M. (1996). Essential assessment criteria for physical education teacher education programs: A Delphi study. West Virginia University, Morgantown.

Lamaakchaoui, C., Azmani, A., & Jarroudi, M. El. (2015). An AHP-based model for selecting complementary products. International Journal of Computer Applications, 120(22), 975–980. Retrieved from

Latifah, A. M., Gabriel, T. W., & Les, M. (2014). Identification of the potential dam site of Bungoh catchment by assessing ecosystem loss score and ecosystem fragmentation score using the rarity and viability value. International Journal of Development Research, 4(5), 1113–1121.

Lee, C., Wan, J., Shi, W., & Li, K. (2014). A cross-country study of competitiveness of the shipping industry. Transport Policy, 35, 366–376. Doi:

Ludwig, B. (1997). Predicting the future: Have you considered using the Delphi methodology? Journal of Extension, 35(5), 1–4.

Ludwig, B. G. (1994). Internationalizing extension: An exploration of the characteristics evident in a state university extension system that achieves internationalization. The Ohio State of University, Columbus.

Mason, P. J. (1990). The effects of aggressive water on dam concrete. International Water Power & Dam Construction, 39–42. Doi:

Moradi, A., Etebarian, A., Shirvani, A., & Soltani, I. (2014). Development of a fuzzy model for Iranian marine casualties management. Journal of Fuzzy Set Valued Analysis, 1–17. Doi: 10.5899/2014/jfsva-00186

Saaty, T. L. (1980). The Analytical Hierarchy Process. New York: McGraw Hill Inc.

Saaty, T. L. (1990). How to make a decision: the Analytical Hierarchy Process. European Journal of Operational Research, 48, 9–26. Doi:

Saaty, T. L. (2003). Rank, normalization and idealization in the Analytic Hierarchy Process. In 7th International Symposium on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (ISAHP) (pp. 57–64). Bali, Indonesia.

Saaty, T. L. (2008). Decision making with the Analytic Hierarchy Process. International Journal of Services Sciences, 1(1), 83–98. Doi: 10.1504/IJSSCI.2008.017590

Safari, M., Ataei, M., Khalokakaie, R., & Karamozian, M. (2010). Mineral processing plant location using the analytical hierarchy process - a case study: the Sangan iron ore mine (phase 1). International Journal of Mining Science and Technology, 20, 691–695. Doi:

Sayareh, J., & Alimini, H. R. (2014). A hybrid decision-making model for selecting container seaport in the Persian Gulf. The Asian Journal of Shipping and Logistics, 30(1), 75–95. Doi:

Sherard, J. L., Woodward, R. J., Gizienski, S. F., & Clevenger, W. A. (1963). Earth and earth-rock dams. Engineering problems of design and construction. New York: Wiley.

Singh, B., & Sharma, H. D. (1976). Earth and rockfill dams. Meerut, India: Prabhat Press.

Soderberg, A. D. (1979). Expect the unexpected: foundation for dams in karst. Bulletin of the Association of Engineering Geologists, XVI(3), 409–425. Doi:

Teknomo, K. (2006). Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) tutorial. Retrieved from

Thomas, H. H. (1976). The engineering of large dams. London, UK: Wiley.

Triantaphyllou, E., & Mann, S. H. (1995). Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process for decision making in engineering applications: some challenges. International Journal of Industrial Engineering: Theory, Applications and Practice, 2(1), 35–44.

Walters, R. S. (1962). Dam geology. London: Butterworths.

Weaver, W. T. (1971). The Delphi forecasting method. Phi Delta Kappan, 52(5), 267–273.

Yasser, M., Jahangir, K., & Mohmmad, A. (2013). Earth dam site selection using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP): a case study in the west of Iran. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 6, 3417–3426. Doi:

Yau, Y. (2009). Multi-Criteria Decision Making for urban built heritage conservation: application of the Analytic Hierarchy Process. Journal of Building Appraisal, 4(3), 191–205. Doi: