Preferences are a fundamental ingredient in a variety of fields, ranging from economics to computer science, for deciding the best choices among possible alternatives. Contexts provide another important aspect to be considered in the selection of the best choices, since, very often, preferences are affected by context. In particular, the problem of preference propagation from more generic to more specific contexts naturally arises. Such a problem has only been addressed in a very limited way and always resorts to practical, ad hoc approaches. To fill this gap, in this article, we analyze preference propagation in a principled way and adopt an abstract context model without making any specific assumptions on how preferences are stated. Our framework only requires that the contexts form a partially ordered set and that preferences define a strict partial order on the objects of interest. We first formalize the basic properties that any propagation process should satisfy. We then introduce an algebraic model for preference propagation that relies on two abstract operators for combining preferences, and, under mild assumptions, we prove that the only possible interpretations for such operators are the well-known Pareto and Prioritized composition. We then study several propagation methods based on such operators and precisely characterize them in terms of the stated properties. We finally identify a method meeting all the requirements, on the basis of which we provide an efficient algorithm for preference propagation.

Foundations of Context-aware Preference Propagation

Martinenghi D.;Torlone R.
2020

Abstract

Preferences are a fundamental ingredient in a variety of fields, ranging from economics to computer science, for deciding the best choices among possible alternatives. Contexts provide another important aspect to be considered in the selection of the best choices, since, very often, preferences are affected by context. In particular, the problem of preference propagation from more generic to more specific contexts naturally arises. Such a problem has only been addressed in a very limited way and always resorts to practical, ad hoc approaches. To fill this gap, in this article, we analyze preference propagation in a principled way and adopt an abstract context model without making any specific assumptions on how preferences are stated. Our framework only requires that the contexts form a partially ordered set and that preferences define a strict partial order on the objects of interest. We first formalize the basic properties that any propagation process should satisfy. We then introduce an algebraic model for preference propagation that relies on two abstract operators for combining preferences, and, under mild assumptions, we prove that the only possible interpretations for such operators are the well-known Pareto and Prioritized composition. We then study several propagation methods based on such operators and precisely characterize them in terms of the stated properties. We finally identify a method meeting all the requirements, on the basis of which we provide an efficient algorithm for preference propagation.
Preferences
Context awareness
Partial order
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1139965
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