Theory and Decision 44 (3):279-292 (1998)

An efficient method of value assessment of a set of exchangeable alternatives A = a1,a2, ? ,an is presented. It particularly applies to situations where certain preferences may be easily evaluated or are already known, while other binary comparisons may not at once be available. Further applications are to ranking partial tournaments and the emergence and the characterisation of organisational hierarchy. By sequentially performing transitively efficient assessments of uncompared pairs, an initial weakly acyclical preference structure in A is transformed into an ordering of A in echelons. We call these nicely surveyable preference structures echelon orders. Theoretical properties of echelon orders are investigated, including a characterisation and a numerical representation
Keywords Preference structure  Ordering  Echelons  Hierarchy  Exchangeability
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DOI 10.1023/A:1004990529105
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