Journal of Applied Mathematics and Decision Sciences
Volume 2006 (2006), Article ID 58232, 26 pages

Student absenteeism in engineering colleges: Evaluation of alternatives using AHP

P. Kousalya,1 V. Ravindranath,2 and K. VizayaKumar3

1Center for Mathematical Sciences, Vignan Institute of Technology & Science, Vignan Hills, Deshmukhi, Nalgonda 508 284, Andhra Pradesh, India
2Department of Mathematics, College of Engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada 533 003, Andhra Pradesh, India
3Department of Industrial Engineering & Management, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302, India

Received 3 January 2006; Revised 29 August 2006; Accepted 24 September 2006

Copyright © 2006 P. Kousalya et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present study illustrates the application of analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to a decision-making problem. AHP is a popular and powerful method for solving multiple criteria decision-making (MCDM) problems. An attempt is made here to initialize the use of multicriteria decision-making methods for ranking alternatives that curb student absenteeism. Through the expert opinions, the criteria that cause student absenteeism are identified and the criteria hierarchy was developed. The relative importance of those criteria for Indian environment is obtained through the opinion survey. Alternatives that curb student absenteeism in engineering colleges like counseling, infrastructure, making lecture more attractive, and so forth were collected from literature, journals' surveys and experts' opinions. Alternatives are evaluated based on the criteria, and the preferential weights and ranks are obtained. The experts' opinions are validated by Saaty's inconsistency test method. “Involvement of parents” is the best alternative given by the group of experts. Parents have to know their ward's day-to-day progress in college. The second best alternative is “counseling,” as many criteria that cause student absenteeism are reduced by counseling.