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A Group Preference Axiomatization with Cardinal Utility


  • Ralph L. Keeney

    (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria)


Given a group composed of N individuals and given that each has rated all of the alternatives using a cardinal utility function, the problem is to aggregate these to obtain a group cardinal utility function for evaluating each alternative. The cardinal utilities indicate the strength of preference of one alternative relative to others as well as order the alternatives. Five assumptions, which seem reasonable for the aggregation, are postulated, and it is shown the group cardinal utility function which is implied must be a linear combination of the individual cardinal utility functions. For assessing such a function, interpersonal comparisons of preferences are required. Suggestions for who should make these comparisons and how they might be done are given.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralph L. Keeney, 1976. "A Group Preference Axiomatization with Cardinal Utility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(2), pages 140-145, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:23:y:1976:i:2:p:140-145

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    Cited by:

    1. Salo, Ahti A., 1995. "Interactive decision aiding for group decision support," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 134-149, July.
    2. Wolfgang Ossadnik & Stefanie Schinke & Ralf H. Kaspar, 2016. "Group Aggregation Techniques for Analytic Hierarchy Process and Analytic Network Process: A Comparative Analysis," Group Decision and Negotiation, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 421-457, March.
    3. repec:spr:grdene:v:17:y:2008:i:3:d:10.1007_s10726-007-9075-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jian Hu & Sanjay Mehrotra, 2012. "Robust and Stochastically Weighted Multiobjective Optimization Models and Reformulations," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 60(4), pages 936-953, August.
    5. repec:spr:grdene:v:24:y:2015:i:4:d:10.1007_s10726-014-9403-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Thomas Saaty & Luis Vargas, 2012. "The possibility of group choice: pairwise comparisons and merging functions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 38(3), pages 481-496, March.
    7. repec:spr:annopr:v:245:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-014-1576-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Luis C. Dias & Paula Sarabando, 2012. "A Note on a Group Preference Axiomatization with Cardinal Utility," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 9(3), pages 231-237, September.
    9. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:1:p:257-269 is not listed on IDEAS
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    11. repec:eee:jomega:v:81:y:2018:i:c:p:85-98 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Lori J. Curtis & Martin D. Dooley & Ellen L. Lipman & David H. Feeny, 2001. "The role of permanent income and family structure in the determination of child health in Canada," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 287-302.
    13. Munnich, Akos & Maksa, Gyula & J. Mokken, Robert, 1999. "Collective judgement: combining individual value judgements," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 211-233, May.
    14. L. Robin Keller & Kelly M. Kophazi, 2012. "From the Editors ---Copulas, Group Preferences, Multilevel Defenders, Sharing Rewards, and Communicating Analytics," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 9(3), pages 213-218, September.
    15. repec:spr:grdene:v:21:y:2012:i:2:d:10.1007_s10726-011-9266-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:spr:grdene:v:13:y:2004:i:4:d:10.1023_b:grup.0000042894.00775.75 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. James E. Smith & Detlof von Winterfeldt, 2004. "Anniversary Article: Decision Analysis in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(5), pages 561-574, May.
    18. Joseph Kadane & Javier Girón & Daniel Peña & Peter Fishburn & Simon French & D. Lindley & Giovanni Parmigiani & Robert Winkler, 1993. "Several Bayesians: A review," TEST: An Official Journal of the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, Springer;Sociedad de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, December.
    19. Tavares, L. Valadares, 2012. "An acyclic outranking model to support group decision making within organizations," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 782-790.
    20. Ralph L. Keeney, 2013. "Foundations for Group Decision Analysis," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 103-120, June.
    21. Anocha Aribarg & Neeraj Arora & Moon Young Kang, 2010. "Predicting Joint Choice Using Individual Data," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(1), pages 139-157, 01-02.
    22. González-Pachón, Jacinto & Romero, Carlos, 2011. "The design of socially optimal decisions in a consensus scenario," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 179-185, April.

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