On the foundations of qualitative decision theory

Ronen I. Brafman, Moshe Tennenholtz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the foundation of maximin, one of the central qualitative decision criteria, using the approach taken by Savage (Savage 1972) to investigate the foundation and rationality of classical decision theory. This approach asks `which behaviors could result from the use of a particular decision procedure?' The answer to this question provides two important insights: (1) under what conditions can we employ a particular agent model, and (2) how rational is a particular decision procedure. Our main result is a constructive representation theorem in the spirit of Savage's result for expected utility maximization, which uses two choice axioms to characterize the maximin criterion. These axioms characterize agent behaviors that can be modeled compactly using the maximin model, and, with some reservations, indicate that maximin is a reasonable decision criterion.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1996 13th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Part 2 (of 2) - Portland, OR, USA
Duration: 4 Aug 19968 Aug 1996


ConferenceProceedings of the 1996 13th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Part 2 (of 2)
CityPortland, OR, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence


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