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Representing and Reasoning with Qualitative Preferences for Compositional Systems

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Many applications, e.g., Web service composition, complex system design, team formation, etc., rely on methods for identifying collections of objects or entities satisfying some functional requirement. Among the collections that satisfy the functional requirement, it is often necessary to identify one or more collections that are optimal with respect to user preferences over a set of attributes that describe the non-functional properties of the collection. We develop a formalism that lets users express the relative importance among attributes and qualitative preferences over the valuations of each attribute. We define a dominance relation that allows us to compare collections of objects in terms of preferences over attributes of the objects that make up the collection. We establish some key properties of the dominance relation. In particular, we show that the dominance relation is a strict partial order when the intra-attribute preference relations are strict partial orders and the relative importance preference relation is an interval order. We provide algorithms that use this dominance relation to identify the set of most preferred collections. We show that under certain conditions, the algorithms are guaranteed to return only (sound), all (complete), or at least one (weakly complete) of the most preferred collections. We present results of simulation experiments comparing the proposed algorithms with respect to (a) the quality of solutions (number of most preferred solutions) produced by the algorithms, and (b) their performance and efficiency. We also explore some interesting conjectures suggested by the results of our experiments that relate the properties of the user preferences, the dominance relation, and the algorithms.


Representing and Reasoning with Qualitative Preferences for Compositional Systems

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Many applications, e.g., Web service composition, complex system design, team formation, etc., rely on methods for identifying collections of objects or entities satisfying some functional requirement. Among the collections that satisfy the functional requirement, it is often necessary to identify one or more collections that are optimal with respect to user preferences over a set of attributes that describe the non-functional properties of the collection. We develop a formalism that lets users express the relative importance among attributes and qualitative preferences over the valuations of each attribute. We define a dominance relation that allows us to compare collections of objects in terms of preferences over attributes of the objects that make up the collection. We establish some key properties of the dominance relation.


Efficient Dominance Testing for Unconditional Preferences

AAAI Conferences

We study a dominance relation for comparing outcomes based on unconditional qualitative preferences and compare it with its unconditional counterparts for TCP-nets and their variants. Dominance testing based on this relation can be carried out in polynomial time by evaluating the satisfiability of a logic formula.


Preference Orders on Families of Sets - When Can Impossibility Results Be Avoided?

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Lifting a preference order on elements of some universe to a preference order on subsets of this universe is often guided by postulated properties the lifted order should have. Well-known impossibility results pose severe limits on when such liftings exist if all non-empty subsets of the universe are to be ordered. The extent to which these negative results carry over to other families of sets is not known. In this paper, we consider families of sets that induce connected subgraphs in graphs. For such families, common in applications, we study whether lifted orders satisfying the well-studied axioms of dominance and (strict) independence exist for every or, in another setting, for some underlying order on elements (strong and weak orderability).


Preference Aggregation with Incomplete CP-Nets

AAAI Conferences

Generalized CP-nets (gCP-nets) extend standard CP-nets by allowing conditional preference tables to be incomplete. Such generality is desirable, as in practice users may want to express preferences over the values of a variable that depend only on partial assignments for other variables. In this paper we study aggregation of gCP-nets, under the name of multiple gCP-nets (mgCP-nets). Inspired by existing research on mCP-nets, we define different semantics for mgCP-nets and study the complexity of prominent reasoning tasks such as dominance, consistency and various notions of optimality.