Decision Theory

Decision Theory

  • Peyman Mohammady added an answer:
    What is the reliability of TOPSIS technique?

    I have used AHP, TOPSIS and Fuzzy TOPSIS in my research work. I would like to know the reliability of TOPSIS and its variations.

    Peyman Mohammady · University of Tehran

    You have some techniques for reliability test of topsis as same as alpha chronbach in inferential statistical analysis. for example you can use pre-test and post-test or splitting of your dimension and so on . . .

    for first, you can compare correlation coefficient of pre and post data test   using spearman coefficient. 

  • Lall B. Ramrattan added an answer:
    What are the common group tasks that people use in experiments?

    Does anyone know what are the common group tasks that people use in their experiments? Tasks where performance can be easily evaluated objectively? I found in literature Michigan State University Distributed Dynamic Decision Making (MSU-DDD), but could not find the modified version for research. Does anyone have this game or know other games that I can use in research? Thanks!

    Lall B. Ramrattan · University of California, Berkeley

    The question seems to relate to what Thomas Kuhn call the "Disciplinary-Matrix" in normal science. This is referred to as a constellation of shared commitments, and are subject to revision in the face of anomalies. 

    It seems that if there is a common set of tasks, it must differ from paradigm to paradigm. Further, one may distinguish elements in the hardcore and protective belt of such a belief system. I recall that in the US military, when one discover some oil product for instance, one common task for the scientists is to run an API specific gravity test. And when such experiment is carried out, another common task is to record the barometric pressure in the room.

    In economics, a common Keynesian task during a crises would be to examine the economy for rigidities--interest inelasticity, fixed wages, liquidity traps. Similar examples can be made for the classical school, the monetarist school, and the Marxists school. So, it appears that a common set of tasks would be specialized to a discipline or sub-discipline. In science, one would consult say the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for the common tasks.

  • Carlos R. B. Azevedo added an answer:
    Are the decision-theoretic accounts of Preference for Flexibility and Freedom of Choice being applied outside economics?
    The first axiomatic accounts of preference for flexibility and freedom of choice are due to Koopmans (1962) and Kreps (1979), who assumed that a Decision Maker always enjoys having more alternatives available. After that, e.g. Puppe (1996) refined the idea and distinguished the essential alternatives in an opportunity set as those whose exclusion “would reduce an agent’s freedom”.

    Most applications I know of consider social choice problems that are relevant to economics theory. What other fields have seen applications of those concepts? I'm particularly interested in corporate decision-making and engineering design.


    T. C. Koopmans, “On flexibility of future preference,” Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 150, 1962.

    D. M. Kreps, “A representation theorem for ”preference for flexibility”,”
    Econometrica, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. pp. 565–577, 1979

    C. Puppe, “An Axiomatic Approach to 'Preference for Freedom
    of Choice'” Journal of Economic Theory, vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 174–
    199, January 1996
    Carlos R. B. Azevedo · University of Campinas

    @Alejandro, those are great examples. Thanks.

  • Harald C Traue added an answer:
    How were ethically relevant cognitive biases within the test population controlled?

    The test population was self-selected from a sub-population (the Amazon Mechanical Turk subscriber base) which is significantly unrepresentative of the US population generally (which is itself highly heterogeneous). According to Wikipedia(for what it's worth) "Overall, the US MTurk population is mostly female and white, and is somewhat younger and more educated than the US population overall." Your test populations were, however, generally less than 50% female (just over that in study 2) and there were some significant screening tests applied, including such things as attentional deficits, rapid test completion and so on, which excluded high proportions of respondents (up to around 25% in study 3). I may be mistaken but I didn't notice any discussion of measures to control for culturally/socially/educationally normative cognitive biases that may skew the responses of such selectively filtered sub-populations compared to a more representative sample?

    In addition, while I can understand the purpose of the screening was probably  to facilitate selection of a test population of intentional responders, rapid response may not be negatively correlated with intentionality. It may reflect a previously well-considered ethical framework, or a cognitive bias derived from religious or other convictions, and there are other possibilities.

    Two other factors I would have thought may have been considered significant, especially in light of the work of Kohlberg and latterly Gilligan, are age and gender. Was any consideration given to these factors?

    (Edited to improve readability).

    Harald C Traue · Universität Ulm

    never cooperate with AMAZON!

  • Alan Hawk added an answer:
    Does a formal definition for "Freedom of action" exist?

    The reason for my question is that so many other terms in the defence refer to the "Freedom of Action". [Please see for example: ADP 3–0, Unified Land Operations]

    Alan Hawk · US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command

    Try the DOD Dictionary at url

    Try The Joint Electronic Library at url

    JP 3-0 Joint Operations (11 Aug 2011) at url describes Freedom of Action as:.

    "The JFC must maintain freedom of action throughout the operation. Of necessity, freedom of action must extend beyond the JFC’s operational area. For example, operational reach—the distance and duration across which a joint force can successfully employ military capabilities—can extend far beyond the limits of a JFC’s JOA and is inextricably tied to lines of operation (LOOs). So the joint force must protect LOOs to ensure freedom of action. Likewise, the C2 and intelligence functions depend on operations within cyberspace. Losing the capability to operate effectively in cyberspace can greatly diminish the JFC’s freedom of action. While various actions (such as computer network defense [CND] and the consideration of branches to current operations) contribute individually to freedom of action, operational design and joint operation planning are the processes that coherently link these actions. Thus the JFC and staff must consider freedom of action from the outset of operational design and must be alert to indicators during operations that freedom of action is in jeopardy."

  • Gan Huang added an answer:
    Trust model based on Bayes Estimation using Matlab codes?

    I am researching the trust model in WSNs and doing the emulation for the model.I can't find some matlab codes about the reputation-based framework for sensor networks(RFSN).It uses  a Bayesian formulation and a beta contribution.Could you help me?

    Gan Huang · Anhui

    Excuse me,sir.Could you say clearly?I don't understand.

  • Ehsan Chitsaz added an answer:
    Can anyone recommend a behavioral test or questionnaire to determine the pessimistic trait effects on cognitive bias like overestimation?

    I am planning to conduct research on competitive traits and its effect on competitive states. I would appreciate if someone could recommend me some instrument to evaluate pessimistic trait and cognitive bias consequences. Thank you in advance

    Ehsan Chitsaz · Harbin Institute of Technology


    Thanks for your answer, Could you please share with me the English version of your questionnaire in overconfidence bias? 

    About Wiklund et al(2010), I think you have uploaded a wrong file. Could you please send the file that mentioned in your answer.

    Unfortunately, China don't have a same database to exchange. But for next research we can consider about collecting data on that topic in China. At the moment,my research is about the threat in shadow and its consequences on innovation and firm performance.  

  • Fazel Varasteh added an answer:
    Is there a difference between multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) and multi-attribute decision making (MADM)?
    Are MCDM and MADM synonyms? What are the differences?
    Fazel Varasteh · University of Tehran

    Hi Dear

    MCDM consist of two subsets :

    1-MADM   ,   2-MODM.

    So to take making decision by MCDM techniques we face with  two types of problems: Qualitative and quantitative.

    To making decision in  qualitative problems (like location to build a hospital in 3 Candidates places) use MADM.

    To making decision in quantitative problems (like location to build a hospital in city ) use MODM.

  • Thomas Kron added an answer:
    Except for the Frame Selection Theory of Esser and Kroneberg, are there any other attempts of unifying Schütz' Theory and Decision Theory?

    I'm looking for theories or models which try to combine or to unify the theory of Alfred Schütz with common theories of explaining action via decision models like Rational Choice or Bounded Rationality models. The Frame Selection Theory of Hartmut Esser and Clemens Kroneberg is well known to me but I wonder whether there are similar but independent attempts.

    Thomas Kron · RWTH Aachen University

    Of Course there are other attempts of combining framing analysis and decision theory (e.g. Uwe Schmink or my own work). The question is, if they really do "unifying" Schütz with decision theory - I don't think so...

  • Danilo Rastovic added an answer:
    What are some good function approximation methods using fuzzy sets and logic such as fuzzy expert systems, fuzzy SVR, etc.?
    I have a project on function approximation by fuzzy decision trees and I want to compare my results with some other methods improved by fuzzy logic.
    Danilo Rastovic · Zagreb,Croatia

    It will be good use the notice that the maximum of entropy product is equivalent to maximum entropy principle because of the properties of ln functions.

  • Francisco Nepomuceno added an answer:
    What is the best method for decision making under uncertainty?
    • Stochastic techniques
    • Robust optimization 
    • Fuzzy methods
    • Information Gap Decision Theory
    • Z-number
    Francisco Nepomuceno · Universidade Federal do Ceará

    In my opinion the best method for decision making under uncertainty, for instance in petroleum exploration, is the Multi Attribute Utility Theory. An application of game theory.  The decision maker could compare different risk projects, and define the optimum working interest for each project to obtain the best portfolio return with less risk.

  • Do you know any free softwares for Electre Family methods?
    Please let me know of all free softwares you know about Electre methods.
    Henrique Rego Monteiro da Hora · Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia Fluminense (IFF)

    These methods can be implemented in an excel sheet. Maybe you can find at google "electre filetype:xls" "electre filetype:xlsx" or "electre filetype:ods"

  • Jerald Feinstein added an answer:
    How do you assess a value function based on a set of features (attributes, criteria) which are preference-dependent?
    One of the tenets of multiattribute value theory is that each attribute (criterion) must be preferencial independent from each other. There are however specific cases where this assumption do not hold. In these cases, one can proceed by building a value function based on the set of attributes that are preference dependent. For instance, the visual quality of a forest depends on attributes as the size of the trees, the density of the forest stand, the diversity of species, and the diversity of distinct heights. There are preference dependencies among these attributes. How can I assess a value function for the objective "maximize the visual quality of a forest" based on these attributes?
    Jerald Feinstein · DeVry University
    You might want to look at the Analytic Hierarchy Process - - - a Google search will more than get you started. // jlf
  • Paul M.W. Hackett added an answer:
    Can anyone suggest reading material on case-based decision theory?
    Does anybody have any suggestions for what I should read about in connection with case-based decision theory? This is a totally new area to me and any information about the theory would be much appreciated.
    Paul M.W. Hackett · Emerson College
    Thanks Fabrizio.
  • Elena Rokou added an answer:
    Is the AHP a linear or a nonlinear method?
    The Saaty rating scale is rather nonlinear, but aggregation approach is definitely linear. Is the AHP a linear or a nonlinear method? I think it is a linear method (e.g. Zarghami and Szidarovszky).
    Zarghami M. and Szidarovszky F. (2011). Multicriteria Analysis, Springer, pp. 33-39.
    Elena Rokou · National Technical University of Athens
    It is a multilinear form because of the way that composition works. Multilinear forms are the foundation of solutions of polynomial equations and so the conclusion is a non-linear method. You can look the following link for more details:
  • Muhamed Kudic added an answer:
    What is the formal difference between the player and the agent in game theory?
    I am considering the relation between a player and his agent or agents in definition of the game.
  • Renato Cerceau added an answer:
    What MCDM methods can be used when the criteria are incomparable?
    I am looking for the methods like ELECTRE IV or MAXIMIN, and for papers where the problem of the criteriaincomparability is considered.
  • David John Butler added an answer:
    Are there prisoner's dilemma experiments which are truly one-shot?
    I'm looking for data from prisoner's dilemma experiments in which participants played only one round of the game. A closely related experiment, which I found, is Goeree, Holt and Laury (J Pub Econ 2002) where participants play ten one-shot games without feedback between games (hence, no learning effects).
    David John Butler · Murdoch University
  • Mark A Mandel added an answer:
    Can you solve the necktie paradox?
    Alice & Bob enter a game where each have a necktie and they call an independent judge to decide who has the better looking necktie.

    The judge takes the better necktie and awards it to the other player. Alice reasons that entering the game is advantageous: although there is a possible maximal loss of one necktie, the potential winning state is two neckties with one that is judged superior. However, the apparent paradox is that Bob can follow the same reasoning, therefore how can the game be simultaneously advantageous to both players?

    How can we resolve this dilemma? What are the implications and applications?

    [Historical note: I did not invent this question. It was first stated in 1930 by the Belgian mathematician Maurice Kraitchik.]
    Mark A Mandel · University of Pennsylvania
    @Andrew Greentree, thanks for this explanation, but I don't see that it addresses my point. You worked out the values and concluded, "Clearly they cannot both gain by switching!" But I never said they could.

    • @Erwin Amman said (of his version):
    — Paradox: Both could increase their expected value by switching. (What's wrong with this argument?)
    • I said:
    — both could also *decrease* their expected value by switching. The chance (risk) of loss exactly balances the chance (hope?) of gain.

    I think the flaw in both your reasoning is *the assumption that they already have some of the money under consideration*. But they don't, not until at least one of them has made their choice and opened their envelope (or the allotment is judged to have been decided for some other reason). Even the one with the smaller amount will enjoy a net gain *with respect to their present holdings*. They are both going to receive a bequest of some size, whether they trade envelopes or not, and each of them will wind up richer than they were before.

    * not Mark; I'm not in this game! :-)

    Mike's* net expectable gain across the possibilities is
    (2*M) / 2 + (M/2) / 2 = (5/4) * M
    The same is true for Susan, of course. So total expectable gain across the possible outcomes *is the same for both players*, and there is no paradox. Maybe there's a formal sense of "paradox" here that I'm not getting, but this is how I see it.
  • Gavin Rens asked a question:
    Can someone point me to literature about combining classical goals and decision-theoretic reward functions?
    Suppose I want to give my robot a specific goal state to achieve, but the robot must also maximize some reward function while perusing the goal. What if the shortest sequence of actions to achieve the goal is also the most costly according to the reward function? Or what if the most rewarding sequence of actions is the longest possible? Is there some work which tackles this problem?
  • Geoffrey Charles added an answer:
    What is a good way to measure overconfidence in the lab?
    Laboratory economic experiments
    Here's a recent paper addressing the issue written by some of the leading exponents of decision theory and experimental economics:
  • Philippe Weber added an answer:
    What is the difference between dynamic belief networks and qualitative belief functions?
    As described in the papers: "Action Recognition And Prediction For Driver Assistance Systems Using Dynamic Belief Networks" and "Enrichment of Qualitative Beliefs for Reasoning under Uncertainty"
    Philippe Weber · University of Lorraine
    DBN are a way to use factorisation in complex Markov Chain model.
    See :
    Murphy, Kevin (2002). Dynamic Bayesian Networks: Representation, Inference and Learning. UC Berkeley, Computer Science Division.

About Decision Theory

A theoretical technique utilizing a group of related constructs to describe or prescribe how individuals or groups of people choose a course of action when faced with several alternatives and a variable amount of knowledge about the determinants of the outcomes of those alternatives.

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