Reasoning with Conditional Preferences across Attributes

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TypeBook Chapter
AbstractBefore an autonomous agent can perform automated negotiation on behalf of a user in an electronic commerce transaction, the user's preferences over the set of outcomes must be learned as accurately as possible. This paper presents a structure, a Conditional Outcome Preference Network (COP-network), for modeling preferences directly elicited from a user. The COP-network then expands to indicate all preferences that can be inferred as a result. The network can be easily checked for consistency and redundancy, and can be used to determine quickly whether one outcome is preferred over another. An important feature of the COP-network is that conditional preferences, where a user's preference over outcomes depends on whether particular attribute values are included, can be modeled and inferred as well. If the agent also knows the user's utilities for some of the possible outcomes, then these can be considered in the COP-network as well. Three techniques for estimating utilities based on the specified preferences and utilities are described. One such technique, which works by first estimating utilities for long chains of outcomes for which preferences are known, is shown to be the most effective.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Information Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number49292
NPARC number5764285
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Record identifierb33c4feb-db21-452d-8276-3bc4e8950dd1
Record created2009-03-29
Record modified2016-05-09
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