Utility Functions for Ceteris Paribus Preferences

Computational Intelligence (Impact Factor: 1). 04/2004; 20(2):158 - 217. DOI: 10.1111/j.0824-7935.2004.00235.x
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT Ceteris paribus (all-else equal) preference statements concisely represent preferences over outcomes or goals in a way natural to human thinking. Although deduction in a logic of such statements can compare the desirability of specific conditions or goals, many decision-making methods require numerical measures of degrees of desirability. To permit ceteris paribus specifications of preferences while providing quantitative comparisons, we present an algorithm that compiles a set of qualitative ceteris paribus preferences into an ordinal utility function. Our algorithm is complete for a finite universe of binary features. Constructing the utility function can, in the worst case, take time exponential in the number of features, but common independence conditions reduce the computational burden. We present heuristics using utility independence and constraint-based search to obtain efficient utility functions.

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