Eliciting single-peaked preferences using comparison queries
Voting is a general method for aggregating the preferences of multiple agents. Each agent ranks all the possible alternatives, and based on this, an aggregate ranking of the alternatives (or at least a winning alternative) is produced. However, when there are many alternatives, it is impractical to simply ask agents to report their complete preferences. Rather, the agents' preferences, or at least the relevant parts thereof, need to be elicited. This is done by asking the agents a (hopefully small) number of simple queries about their preferences, such as comparison queries, which ask an agent to compare two of the alternatives. Prior work on preference elicitation in voting has focused on the case of unrestricted preferences. It has been shown that in this setting, it is sometimes necessary to ask each agent (almost) as many queries as would be required to determine an arbitrary ranking of the alternatives. By contrast, in this paper, we focus on single-peaked preferences. We show that such preferences can be elicited using only a linear number of comparison queries, if either the order with respect to which preferences are single-peaked is known, or at least one other agent's complete preferences are known. We also show that using a sublinear number of queries will not suffice. Finally, we present experimental results. © 2007 IFAAMAS.
Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents
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