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The local geometry of multiattribute tradeoff preferences

Authors
Journal
Artificial Intelligence
0004-3702
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
175
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.artint.2010.11.014
Keywords
  • Decision Theory
  • Preference Representation
  • Multiattribute Tradeoffs
  • Ceteris Paribusreasoning
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics

Abstract

Abstract Existing representations for multiattribute ceteris paribus preference statements have provided useful treatments and clear semantics for qualitative comparisons, but have not provided similarly clear representations or semantics for comparisons involving quantitative tradeoffs. We use directional derivatives and other concepts from elementary differential geometry to interpret conditional multiattribute ceteris paribus preference comparisons that state bounds on quantitative tradeoff ratios. This semantics extends the familiar economic notion of marginal rate of substitution to multiple continuous or discrete attributes. The same geometric concepts also provide means for interpreting statements about the relative importance of different attributes.

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