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Learning the decisions of small committees

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  • Yuval Salant

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Abstract

A committee is a collection of members, where every member has a linear ordering on the alternatives of a finite ground set X. The committee chooses between pairs of alternatives drawn from X by a simple majority vote. The committee’s choices induce a preference relation on X. In this paper, we study the possibility of learning preference relations of small committees from examples. We prove that it is impossible to precisely learn the preference relation of a committee before seeing all its choices, even if a teacher guides the learner through the learning process. We also prove that a learner can approximately learn the preference relation of a committee from a relatively few random examples.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuval Salant, 2003. "Learning the decisions of small committees," Discussion Paper Series dp332, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp332
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    File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/Salant332.pdf
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    1. Kalai, Gil, 2003. "Learnability and rationality of choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 104-117, November.
    2. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-355, March.
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